Darjeeling: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday inaugurated ‘Alternate Alignment Gangtok-Nathula Road’ constructed by the Army’s Border Roads Organisation in Sikkim.
“Today I am happy to dedicate the partial alternate route of National Highway-310 to the people of Sikkim. NH-310 connetcing Gangtok to ‘Nathu La’ is the lifeline of the people bordering eastern Sikkim. By constructing 19.35 km long alternate route of National Highway-310, BRO has fulfilled the aspirations of the Army and residents of East Sikkim,” the Defence Minister said while addressing the event.
“Most of the border roads of Sikkim are being upgraded by BRO to double lane. Out of this, 65 km of road construction work is in progress in East Sikkim and 55 km of road construction is under the action plan. The construction of 225 km double lane road to ‘Mangan-Chugthang-Eumsemdong’ and Chuganthang-Lachen-Jima-Muguthang-Nakula’ is planned under the Bharatmala project in North Sikkim. These works are planned in 9 packages with an estimated cost of Rs 5,710 crores,” he added.
Necessitated due to the previous alignment having seen extensive damages due to sinking and other natural hazards, the road serves as an important link to bolster defence preparedness in the Nathula Sector in particular and in whole of East Sikkim in general.
The Defence Minister enumerated the Government’s drive towards progressing infrastructure development in far flung areas not only enhance defence preparedness but also fostering socio-economic development of the region. Reiterating the Centre’s resolve to speed up infrastructure development in align with Prime Minister’s Act North East policy, the Minister highlighted the pace at which construction of the alternate alignment, which had been held up since commencement in 2009, was facilitated over the last two years. The Chief Minister of Sikkim Prem Singh Tamang brought out the positive impact the new alignment that will be boosting tourism as well as the socio-economic development of the state. Emphasising that tourism is the main bulwark of the state’s economy, the Chief Minister was highly appreciative of the BRO and the Central Government for completing the road expeditiously.
The BRO over the last some years has undertaken an unprecedented expansion of its capabilities through technology infusion in material, equipment and construction techniques. The Atal Tunnel, DS-DBO Road, the new alignment of the National Highway 310 are examples of high quality, fast paced results delivered by the BRO towards strategic and operational preparedness.
Rajnath Singh also highlighted the future works that the BRO is to undertake and expressed confidence that the mission of Aatmanirbhar Bharat will progress by leaps and bounds in the years ahead.