If asked, ready to take up infrastructure development in Naxal areas: BRO chief

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New Delhi, May 5 (ANI): Border Road Organization (BRO) chief Lt. General M S Badhani on Wednesday said his organization is ready to take up infrastructural development in Naxal areas, if assigned.

Addressing media persons here, Lt. Gen Badhani said: "That (infrastructural development) is mainly the duty of state governments. If they provide better security to even civilian organizations and other government agencies, they too can work."

"Right now our task is to concentrate in difficult areas and which are strategically more important. I feel Naxal affected areas are easy to access compared to border areas. If given a task we will handle it," he added.

Lt General Badhani's comment comes days after, lawmakers from the 33 most Naxal affected districts, urged Union Home Minister P Chidambaram to consider engaging the BRO in road construction work in Naxal-affected areas.

Commenting on the BRO decision to pull out from Operation HIRAK, Lt Gen Badhani said: "The project is almost complete, and we are re deploying the force, where there is an immediate requirement. The decision was taken at the highest level."

Under operation HIRAK, the BRO had constructed National Highway 16, which passes through Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

He also said the BRO is seriously considering hiring helicopters of MI-17 class for the transportation of men and material to the most difficult areas.

"The BRO is in need of helicopters of MI-17 class, right now the Indian Air Force (IAF) is very busy, so it is difficult to get its support. Now we are considering to hire copters, from private bodies," Lt General Badhani said.

He said discussions are on with many companies, including Pawan Hans.

Commenting on the massive infrastructure building by China on their side of the border, Lt Gen Badhani said the BRO was not a reactionary organization.

" We are not a reactionary organization. For China, its very easy terrain, so they working on a massive scale, our side we have very difficult area," he said.

We cannot react to China and build. The BRO works as per the requirements of the forces, if they require

He informed that, the BRO is upgrading and maintaining 26 National Highways totaling 5,873 kilometers spread across the North, North East and Central parts of India.

Under the Special Accelerated Road Development Programme (SARDP) the BRO is working to provide connectivity to all district headquarters in the northeast from state capitals.

Of the 2,812 kilometer long project, the BRO is set to complete 725 kilometers.

Till now, the BRO has constructed approximately 48,300 kilometers of roads, 400 major permanent bridges of 36,000 m length and19 air fields in difficult and remote areas of the country.

The BRO is presently working on 699 roads approximately 28, 000 kilometers in length.

The BRO is maintaining 22,000 kilometers road and seven airfields.By Shreeraj Gudi (ANI)

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