Parliament panel pulls up BRO over road connectivity to Tawang

New Delhi


 A parliamentary panel has pulled up the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) over lack of road connectivity to Tawang, near the China border, saying that in case of war the Indian Army would not be able to reach there in a day while the "neighbouring country" would only take a few hours.

The panel also expressed concern over "outdated" equipment used by the BRO, saying an upgradation was needed to compete with neighbouring countries, especially China.

Tawang, a border district in Arunachal Pradesh, is one of the areas to which China has staked claim.

Parliament's standing committee on defence, in a recently-tabled report, said it was "dismayed to note that in Tawang area, the situation is very critical in so far as connectivity is concerned".

"While our neighbouring country can reach the border within two or three hours, our army takes more than a day to reach there. This is a matter of great concern with regard to our defence preparedness," the report said.

The committee has recommended the construction of "good quality roads in this area on priority basis".

It also said connectivity between Himachal Pradesh and the Ladakh region was "very crucial" for the expeditious movement of troops and equipment, and recommended the construction of the Nyemo-Padum-Darcha road to connect the two.

Expressing concern over the equipment used by the BRO, the committee said it should be immediately replaced.

"These equipment should be immediately replaced with modern equipment befitting the climatic conditions of the region. The committee thinks that in order to compete with our neighbouring countries, especially China, we must have latest, state-of-the art equipment with the BRO," the panel said.

Of 73 roads identified as strategic India-China border roads, 61 with a length of 3,410 km are with the BRO.

Of these, 19 roads of 625 km length have been completed, as per official information.

The committee also recommended that engineers and other BRO personnel be sent abroad to upgrade their technical knowledge.

The panel commended the organisation for its work during the Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir floods. - IANS