Leh: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday virtually inaugurated 44 bridges in the country including eight strategic bridges in Ladakh only.
In addition to this, the construction of 45 more bridges in Ladakh will be completed by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) in the next two years.
The 44 bridges constructed by BRO and were inaugurated today are spread over seven states/union territories. BRO has completed eight bridges in both Kargil and Leh on four strategically important roads close to the Line of Control (LOC) and Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh.
Brigadier Arvinder Singh Sodhi of BRO said that Ladakh will have 45 more bridges on strategic roads in the next two years.
“Besides this, construction on 45 bridges in Ladakh region is going on. All these bridges are on strategic roads which will connect far-flung areas in the region and last post of the Army. These bridges will be helpful for the local population and will also boost tourism. In the coming two years, we will see 45 more bridges,” Sodhi told ANI.
He said that the construction of these bridges is difficult due to weather in Ladakh.
“Challenge of completion of eight bridges in Ladakh is extremely tough because BRO has only five to six months’ time in a year due to weather in Ladakh but finally, it’s completed and dedicated to the nation. All eight bridges in Ladakh are operational in all weather and will boost overall tourism and economic growth in the region,” he said.
BRO has completed Nimmu bridge in Ladakh which is situated on National Highway-1 to connect Leh with Srinagar.
“Earlier in Nimmu, there was a bridge capacity with class 24 which means weight capacity is only 24 tonnes. Now bridges, which BRO has completed are two-way on National Highway-1 and the capacity is class 70 which means 70 tonnes. These are very strategic bridges for the Army and their heavy vehicle movement including tanks. Not for the Army only, civilians can also take advantage,” Vijayta, Chief Engineer, BRO told ANI.
Out of eight bridges opened today, three bridges have been completed on Zozila-Kargil-Leh road, two on Khalsar-Sasoma road and one each on Sanku-Kunore-Sapila-Mulbek road, Nimmu-Padam-Darcha (NPD) road and Durbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldie (D-S-DBO) road. The NPD road is being developed as an alternative axis to Leh from Manali through Zanskar.
The bridges are of length varying from 24 metres to 80 metres and have been constructed at a total cost of Rs 45 crores.
“Due to new bridges in the Ladakh region, it is very helpful for us to connect to another city in less time and it will boost our economy through an easier way of transportation,” a local said.
Lt Gen Harpal Singh, DG BRO said the 44 bridges of various spans ranging from 30 metres to 484 metres are located in Jammu and Kashmir (10), Ladakh (8), Himachal Pradesh (2), Punjab (4), Uttarakhand (8), Arunachal Pradesh (8) and Sikkim (4). (ANI)