Defence Minister Rajnath Singh described connectivity as an essential component of a nation’s progress

The Government remains committed to the progress of the far-flung areas near the borders of the country, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has said.

Praising the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) for working tirelessly to increase connectivity in border areas, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, Singh on Friday assured the continued support of the Ministry of Defence.

Speaking on the occasion on the establishment of two Centres of Excellence established by BRO, the Minister lauded the crucial role played by BRO in the progress of the nation since its inception by building roads, tunnels and other infrastructure in remote areas.

Describing connectivity as an essential component of a nation’s progress, he said BRO is catering to the needs of the Armed Forces as well as working towards the socio-economic development of the border areas.

Making special mention of the recent achievements of BRO, including construction of the state-of-the-art Atal Tunnel in Rohtang, Kailash Mansarovar Road and Zojila pass, Singh also appreciated BRO for raising awareness about road safety through innovative slogans and signboards.

Terming road accidents as a silent pandemic that claims about 1.5 lakh lives every year, the Defence Minister stated that the Government has taken a number of initiatives such as National Road Safety Policy, Motor Vehicle Act 2020 and identification of black spots on national highways to tackle the problem. The setting up of these Centres is another step in that direction.

He also listed various measures taken by the Government for the development of BRO. These include increase in the budget of BRO, approval of special high-altitude clothing for the personnel as well as cadre review to boost the morale of the organisation.

Singh also remembered the BRO personnel who laid down their lives in the service of the nation.

Appreciating the efforts of BRO in establishing the Centres of Excellence, the Defence Minister expressed confidence that they will play a pivotal role in saving precious lives.

The two centres have been established to achieve excellence in road safety as well as foster growth in construction of roads, bridges, air fields and tunnels.

During the event, Singh also launched four software developed to optimise the work efficiency of BRO personnel, their HR management, recruitment management, enrolment and works management.

The first ever Solo Woman Motorcycle Expedition by Kanchan Ugursandi to Umling La Pass, Ladakh and back was also flagged off on the occasion.

Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar were present on the occasion.