Strategically built connectivity for border defense in India and why it’s the need of the hour

Amid rising tensions near the northern border of India, strategic planning by the Army personnel is the need of the hour. China has been reclaiming its authority over neighboring countries' territories amid a pandemic and the recent face-off between the Indian and Chinese Army is a relevant factual reference to it. As a response to the growing tensions between India and a few of its neighboring rivals, the Indian Army has been focused on strengthening the defense infrastructure of India...

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The brainchild of the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, ‘Border Roads Organization’ [BRO], provides engineering services by constructing and maintaining roads in India and friendly neighboring countries. On 6th July 2020, the BRO is reported to have built three bridges near Ladakh’s Nimu region. The BRO has been working for the last three months to replace the Bailey bridge which could carry 24 tonnes of vehicles, with a new bridge that has a capacity of 70 tonnes of vehicles. The second bridge is located in the Basgo region near Nimu, which is also being rebuilt; and will be ready for use shortly. For the movement of vehicles from beside the under-construction bridge, the BRO has stopped the flow of a nala below the bridge. The third bridge is built at Ule Topo, a place that is further ahead on the Srinagar-Leh highway from where the armored vehicles are usually brought by road.

The big BRO

In an interview with the media, the BRO Executive Engineer B Kishan said, “This bridge is at kilometer 397. Earlier, there were three bottlenecks at kilometer 362, 361, and 397. This bridge has been constructed in a record time of three months. On the request of the Army, we made a 50-meter long steel structure bridge that can carry any sort of load.”

India is surrounded by a few countries with which it has had historical land disputes. In no chronological order- Pakistan and India have been engaged in serious conflict over the share in the region of Kashmir; India and China have also been historically involved over several land disputes, concerning the disputed region near Ladakh and the Northeast states of India. Many army troops have been deployed near the northern border, especially guarding the LoC and LAC. With the increasing tensions at the border, the Indian army has realized over the past few years, the need to rebuild and strengthen our border security and mobility of resources. Since most of the region in the northern part is hilly, there isn’t a defined or paved path for easy mobility of heavy trucks and other arms and ammunitions along with army personnel.

Bridging constraints

As a result, the reconstruction of the three bridges would help remove the previous constraints posed in the Army. These bridges can handle the movement of 70 tonnes of vehicles, and any shaped tanks that need to be moved. It can support the movement of army trucks, towing artillery guns, and tank boat vehicles. Amidst the pandemic, some of the hostile neighboring countries like China have been hunting for territorial conquests yet again. India witnessed the dangerous attacks from the unforeseeable Chinese soldiers who were reported to have entered the Ladakh region and was reclaiming the disputed region to be theirs. Territorial disputes are ongoing issues irrespective of other vicious dangers hovering over the world. Owing to the recent developments, India has to be well prepared for any kind of hostile activity from foreign elements. Therefore, it is a very strategic move by the Indian Army to have ordered the BRO to rebuild the roads, linking to the LoC and LAC.

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