Indian Army has built the longest suspension bridge in Ladakh region in record 40 days. The 260-feet long bridge is built over Indus River and named Maitri Bridge. The bridge was built by the Indian Army to help the residents of Choglamsar, Stok and Chuchot which are the largest villages in the region. The bridge was built by Combat Engineers of ‘Sahas aur Yogyata’ Regiment of ‘Fire & Fury Corps’ in a short span of 40 days. The Ladakh region is strategically very important given the fact that it borders China. Therefore good connectivity is required to help the local population and armed forces. Maitri Bridge also demonstrates the capabilities of the Indian Army.
Modi government has increased the infrastructural spending in sensitive areas of the Northeast and Jammu & Kashmir. China and Pakistan are closer than ever and therefore it is imperative India prepares itself for a two-front war. To fight a two-front war, connectivity to border areas is as important as fighting capability of armed forces. So, the spending on infrastructure becomes crucial to secure the strategic interest of India.
Last year, Indian Railways had started work on the world’s highest railway line which will connect Ladakh with New Delhi. The Indian Railways have already finished the first phase of the location survey of the strategic and very important Bilaspur-Manali-Leh line which is near the India-China border. It has been proposed by the Indian Railways that this project be given the status of a national project. The total estimated cost for this railway project which in total will extend to 498 kilometres, will be around Rs 83,360 crores. The highest point in the project when it is completed will be of 5,360 metres above mean sea level. The closest competitor to it will be the Qinghai-Tibet Railway line in China which is at a height of approximately 2,000 metres. The project once finished will give Indian defense agencies a strategic edge over the Chinese in case of an altercation in the future.
A few months back it was announced that Modi government will construct 44 ‘strategically important’ roads alongside India-China border and 21 km of axial and lateral roads in the areas bordering Pakistan. The Central Public Works Department (CPWD), the government construction agency has been asked to construct 44 strategically important roads for quick mobilization of troops along the border. The 4,000 km long Line of Actual Control (LAC) stretches from Jammu & Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh. “The CPWD has been entrusted with construction of 44 strategically important roads along the Indo-China Border spanning 5 states of J&K, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh,” as per annual report of CPWD.
India could give a befitting reply to China only if it has a solid infrastructure in the region for movement of its armed forces to fight mighty Chinese forces. The infrastructure development is region is also important from the civilian point of view, as it will make the life of people in the regions a bit easier. The people in border areas region live in very difficult condition, therefore, investment by government is necessary. The infrastructure development in the region will also promote tourism in the region which will bring economic prosperity of people living in the border states.