The Indian Army listed out expensive weapons to cut down their purchase to compensate the shortage of ammunition, the infrastructure development is also stalled due to the shortage of funds. In the bi-annual Army Commanders’ Conference, this issue leading to delay in strategic road projects was discussed at length.
According to the officials, the Border Roads Organisation is facing the shortage of funds which is leading to delays in the construction of strategic roads along the China border. Due to financial crisis, the funds allocated for General Staff (GS) roads are being diverted for the India-China Border Roads (ICBRs). Around 200 GS roads would be affected with this decision. GS roads ensure inter-valley and inter-sector movement of troops and equipment along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China. On the other hand, the ICBRs are meant for larger mobilisation efforts.
The inadequate budget for the strategic roads and infrastructure development along the northern borders has also been highlighted by the Indian Army’s Vice Chief Lt Gen Sarath Chand, who informed the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence that the allocation for these tasks is falling short by about Rs 902 crore, reported The Economics Times.
The BRO gave an update to army commanders at the ongoing conference about the construction of roads along the northern border. An official told The Economic Times, “Only 60 per cent of demands for funds for all roads under the BRO are being met. This is not enough. Due to the shortage, all road projects, including of the 61 ICBRs and GS roads, be delayed and cannot be completed on time.”
There are 73 planned ICBRs whose construction began in 1999. The BRO has been tasked to construct 61 of them, out of which 28 have been completed and the remaining 33 are expected to be completed by 2022.
In 1999, 73 ICRCB’s were planned to be constructed. The BRO has been given a task to construct 61 roads out of 73. Till now 23 have been completed and the remaining 33 would be completed by 2022. Standing Committee on Defence has also raised mater in the parliament.