Doklam effect: In major infrastructure push, India to build roads along China border

NEW DELHI,RAGHVENDRA RAO: Amid reports of Chinese infrastructure expansion near Doklam, the Indian government is learnt to have taken steps to boost the connectivity along in the border areas.

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In what can be called a Dokalm after-effect, the defence ministry has delegated more administrative and financial powers to the Border Roads Organisation for a speedy completion of the projects along the border with China.

As part of major infrastructure push, four major passes have been identified in Uttarakhand to be developed by the end of 2020.

The roads will connect Niti, Lipulekh, Thangla and Tsangchokla pass over the next three years, sources have told WION.

In an Army commanders’ conference, it was decided that “infrastructure and capability development” would be the key focus over the next few years.

Shakti Chaudhary, mayor of Gangtok had told WION earlier that roads are necessary so that the military can immediately access the border in times of crisis.

The decision to boost infrastructure along the border with China comes at a time when there are reports that Beijing is aggressively building raods in Doklam and other strategic areas.

China has resumed building a road on Doklam plateau, latest media reports say.

The current road construction is taking place just 10 km from the last stand-off site between India and China.

According to media reports, there are about 500 Chinese troops present at the site guarding the construction.

India has yet not objected the construction as it is not southwards towards the militarily-sensitive Jampheri Ridge area like last time.

The bulldozers and other material that were used last time have been shifted to the new site by China.

All this comes almost two months after both India and China agreed to “expeditious disengagement” over Doklam.

The diplomatic success came at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was scheduled to visit China for the BRICS summit.

The stand-off started in mid-June when Chinese troops entered Bhutanese territory to build a road, sparking India’s intervention, citing agreements to maintain a status quo in the region. India had deployed about 350 Army personnel in the area.

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