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Regular-article-logo Saturday, 13 July 2024

Smooth ride to China border

Bridge paves way for direct connectivity between Lower Dibang Valley and Lohit Valley, cuts travel time, helps troop movement

Rishu Kalantri Tinsukia Published 18.01.19, 06:42 PM
Nirmala Sitharaman with officials on the bridge on Friday.

Nirmala Sitharaman with officials on the bridge on Friday. (PTI)

Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday inaugurated a 426.6-metre concrete bridge over the Diffo river on the Roing-Koronu-Paya road, opening the first direct inter-valley connectivity between Lower Dibang Valley and Lohit Valley, in eastern Arunachal Pradesh.

The inauguration of the bridge, constructed by 48 Border Roads Task Force at a cost of Rs 50 crore, will facilitate faster movement and deployment of troops from one valley to another by reducing travel time upto two hours.

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Dedicating the bridge to the nation, the minister said, “The bridge will provide an uninterrupted access between the Dibang Valley and Lohit Valley region of eastern Arunachal Pradesh and an all-weather road to our troops deployed on the China border.”

“The work being done by Project Udayak, Border Roads Organisation (BRO), in this region is commendable,” she added.

Earlier, Sitharaman, along with senior army officials, visited the forward locations along the Line of Actual Control.

Defence public relations officer Col C. Konwer said, “The minister overflew the forward locations and visited the army post of Anini located at the height of 5,300 feet.”

The minister in front of the bridge’s inaugural plaque.

The minister in front of the bridge’s inaugural plaque. Picture by UB Photos

“She was briefed on the operational situation and defence preparedness of the armed forces in Dibang Valley where she interacted with the troops,” he added.

Lohit Valley is the corridor that leads to Kibithu, the battleground of the 1962 Indo-Sino war and Lower Dibang Valley leads to the Anini front of border with China.

Commander of the 48 BRTF Col Rajeev Dhingra said, “One can now travel between Tezu and Roing, district headquarters of Lohit Valley and Lower Dibang Valley respectively, in 45 minutes.

“Earlier, the travel time was around three hours and in monsoon one had to take the route through Assam to reach Tezu,” he added.

“There was no direct and permanent inter-valley connectivity between the two valleys. We had laid a Bailey bridge over the Diffo but it was a temporary one and had to be closed most of the times during the rains,” the official added. “The bridge will boost defence ties besides improving the economy of the region,” he added.

Director-general of the BRO Lt Gen. Harpal Singh explained the hurdles faced by the organisation.

“Many BRO personnel and other workers have died while discharging their duties in the inhospitable terrain of the state,” he said.

GOC-in-C, Eastern Command, Lt Gen. M.M. Naravane, GOC of the Spear Corps Lt Gen. Rajeev Sirohi, GOC of the Dao division Maj. Gen. Rajendra Sachdev, chief engineer of the project Brigadier Rakshvir, Arunachal’s minister for animal husbandry, dairy development, agriculture and horticulture Mohesh Chai, Roing superintendent of police Sanjay Sain attended the inauguration ceremony.

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