India’s Border Infrastructure Should be Further Strengthened to Counter China!

  • The eastern border is on the boil following the Galwan valley incident involving China has spurred the Indian Establishment to strengthen the infrastructure to counter any future misadventures. The buildup of Indian military personnel and equipment immediately following the skirmishes at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) has definitely seen a remarkable improvement incommensurate with the threat perceptions. Since the incident in June 2020, the Indian troops are gallantly holding on to their positions thwarting further incursions into our territory. Several rounds of military and diplomatic level dialogues have failed to ease the simmering tensions along the LAC.

PC: Webadmin

  • Both sides are apparently digging in for the long haul and not prepared to spare an inch. As newspaper reports suggest, China is further ramping up its border infrastructure along the LAC in Ladakh with a new bridge across the crucial Pangong Tso as well as additional troop shelters, gun positions, helipads, and jetties in the area between Finger-8 and its military bases at Sirijap-I and II, respectively. It is well documented and known that China’s border infrastructure is already superior, thanks to years of investment and the fact that China enjoys the easier bit of topography of the Tibetan plateau.
  • India is disadvantaged on this front since our infrastructure strengthening efforts commenced rather late in the day. You should know that India for decades had adopted the naïve strategy that inaccessibility on our side would actually deter the Chinese from intruding across borders. You should also know that it is only in the last 15 years that the Indian approach changed leading to our establishment finally acting in a desired manner to counter the aggressive and expansionist moves of the Dragon. Of course, since the Galwan clash in June 2020, the pace of Indian border infrastructure development has quickened as the Indian security apparatus realized the importance of countering the Chinese with an adequate arsenal.

PC: Sandeep Singh

  • As a consequence, in June last year, 63 bridges across six states and two Union territories along the LAC at a total cost of Rs. 240 crores went operational. Just last week, a further 24 bridges and three roads in border states were made ready for use. And many more infrastructural projects are in the pipeline to supplement the same. On a cautious note, India still has a lot of catching up to do. In May 2020, the Union Government implemented the Shekatkar Committee recommendations regarding border infrastructure that enhanced the Border Roads Organisation’s procurement powers from Rs. 7.5 crore to Rs. 100 crores.
  • This has allowed BRO to acquire critical equipment for speedier laying of border roads and other construction. On a familiar note, Indian border infrastructure is also stymied by avoidable inter-ministerial turf wars and environmental clearances. For instance, failure of the project involving the construction of over 40 integrated border outposts along the LAC due to poor coordination between the ministries of home affairs and jal shakti hampers the efforts. Needless to mention, New Delhi must smartly utilize its limited resources by cutting red tape and clearing border projects quickly. Only then it can hope to stand a chance in countering China’s grey-zone tactics.

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Krishna MV
Krishna is a Post Graduate with specialization in English Literature and Human Resource Management, respectively. Having served the Indian Air Force with distinction for 16 years, Armed Forces background definitely played a very major role in shaping as to who & what he is right now. Presently, he is employed as The Administrator of a well known educational institute in Bangalore. He is passionate about sharing thoughts by writing articles on the current affairs / topics with insightful dissection and offering counter / alternate views thrown in for good measure. Also, passionate about Cricket, Music – especially vintage Kannada & Hindi film songs, reading – non-fictional & Self-Help Books, and of course, fitness without compromising on the culinary pleasures.