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SOURCE: ET

The Ministry of Home Affairs has allocated ?12,434.90 crore for expediting construction of 32 roads on India-China border under Phase-2. The proposal, an official said, was stepped up in the wake of the standoff with China in eastern Ladakh. Phase-2 and Phase-3 construction was held-up due to delay in security and environment clearances and land acquisition issues, the official added.

Border Roads Organisation, Central Public Works Department and Indo-Tibetan Border Police are engaged in the construction work. The roads connecting border outposts will come up in Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

The Indian Army and China’s People Liberation Army are locked in a tense border standoff over the past six months in Ladakh, where minimum temperature has dipped to sub-zero levels. The two sides have so far held eight rounds of military talks to resolve the crisis.

For phase-3, additional 50 roads have been proposed, with road connectivity between the three phases, another senior government official said. The Ministry of Defence, the official added, had accorded operational clearance for the construction of roads to connect the existing border outposts.

BRO was entrusted with the task of completing 61 border roads and the work was completed on 29 such projects. The work on 32 projects (see box) was delayed due to multiple issues.

ITBP personnel maintain vigil along 3,488 km of the India-China border and operates 180 outposts at altitudes ranging from 9,000 feet to 18,750 feet in the western, middle and the eastern sectors of the India-China border — from Karakoram Pass in Ladakh to Jachep La in Arunachal. It has 14 training centres, with a sanctioned strength of 89,437 personnel. Recently, MHA sanctioned an additional 47 border outposts and staging camps as temporary outposts for patrolling teams.