India is apparently building a total of 558 roads along the borders of Pakistan and China. The project is due to be completed by 2030 at a cost of Rs.500 billion and will cover 27,986 km. From what can be considered the apt answer to China's unprecedented development projects in the border areas that include the building of railway lines and roads near Tibet and Pakistan's five major road projects near disputed territory, India has finally decided to up the ante by being up to date in efforts from their end as well.
India aims to complete the massive project in two phases. Under the auspices of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), 277 roads will be built with a total length of 13,100 km at a cost of Rs.248.86 billion in the first phase, revealed a defence ministry official. Another 281 roads will also be built with a length of 14,886 km and costing Rs.252.68 billion in the second phase.
The project was marred by delays with the first phase scheduled to be completed by 2012 and the second phase by 2022. An official has been quoted as saying, “Maximum efforts are being put into the 73 China-Indian border roads by moving 61 units of BRO to Jammu and Kashmir, seven units to Himachal Pradesh, 33 units to Uttarakhand, 46 units to Arunachal Pradesh and 21 units to Sikkim to ensure timely completion of the roads."
Both China and Pakistan had engaged in massive development works that includes three major highways between Lhasa in Tibet and Aksai Chin in the west of the country (3,105 km), Gormo in the central mainland to Lhasa (1,154 km) and Chengdu and Linzhi in the east of the country (1,715 km). China is also focusing on roads (1,739 km) from Kunming in its Yunnan province to Pangsau pass on the India-Myanmar border.
Pakistan on the other hand is in the process of converting the key Jaglot-Skardu road and Sazin-Thakot road into highways. There are also plans to connect such areas with the main towns as well.
India is finally taking efforts to realign its strategies on par with the advances of the neighbours. Construction of roads is increasingly considered a force multiplier in wars since they facilitate faster troop and equipment mobilisation.