road construction along LOC with China
The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) has for the first time taken the decision to deploy its specialized engineering wing for construction of strategic roads and foot tracks along the Line of Actual Control to speed up connectivity projects along its posts in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh. The move, which was approved by the Union Home Ministry, comes amid a military standoff with China in the eastern Ladakh area. ITBP has taken up the challenge to build four out of the 32 roads under phase-II of the Indo-China Border Roads project and two out of the total 18 foot tracks sanctioned by the government. The roads of varying lengths of about one to two km, connecting ITBP border posts in the Himalayan ranges, are in the Ladakh region's 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China, while the foot tracks which are used by troops during patrols are in the Arunachal Pradesh area. The engineers and supervisors of the ITBP wing will plan and monitor the entire construction work and a ground force comprising laborers and masons will be hired according to government norms. Traditionally, road construction projects along these areas are carried out by the Border Roads Organization (BRO), the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) and other such agencies. The engineering wing of the force, an essential component of the ITBP ever since it comes into being in 1962, has been roped in for the task in order to speed up the border posts connectivity work. In these high-altitude and remote areas, getting contractors and construction workers is not an easy task hence, the work of border road construction remains slow. On the other hand, the government has stressed on the need to ensure connectivity through roads so that rations, transportation of troops and other logistics along the LAC can be easily moved.
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