STATE TIMES NEWS KATHUA: Ushering in a new revolution in the connectivity of roads and bridges in border areas, Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh on Saturday inaugurated the 1000 mtr long Ujh Bridge in Pandori village of Kathua district and 617.40 metre long Basantar Bridge on Rajpura- Madwal- Pangadur- Phulpur road over Basantar River in Samba District. The event at Kathua was attended by Union Minister of State in PMO, Dr Jitender Singh, Chief of Army Staff, Gen Bipin Rawat, Director General Border Roads, Lt Gen Harpal Singh, GOC Gurj Division, Maj Gen Y P Khanduri, IGP Jammu zone, Manish Sinha, DC Kathua, Dr. Rghav Langer, SSP Kathua, Sridhar Patil, Former legislators of Kathua and Hiranagar besides many other Army and Civil administration dignitaries. Terming construction of Ujh Bridge a great achievement by BRO, Defence Minister said that the roads and bridges are the lifeline of any nation and play a vital role in the socio economic development of far flung regions and population. Rajnath Singh praised BRO personnel for working in the most hostile and the difficult areas, away from their families and rendering commendable services through construction and maintenance of roads and bridges in border areas fulfilling the strategic need of Indian Defence Forces. 1000 mtr long Ujh bridge is the longest bridge constructed by BRO and also has the distinction of using technology of pre cast segmental bridge with 60 mtrs span. It has been constructed at a cost of approx Rs. 50 Crore and completed within schedule time. The bridge is located on Parole-Korepunnu-Rajpura road over Ujh river and will provide alternate connectivity along the NH, Defence Minister informed. Union MoS, Dr. Jitendra Singh said that this bridge will provide alternate connectivity during cross border firing and will make life easier for the villagers in the rainy season. He congratulated to all who were present that their long-pending demand now stands realized. He further said that apart from this bridge, Community and Individual bunkers in border areas, Seema Bhavan, enhancement in SPOs wages, strengthening VDCs and increasing livestock insurance during border skirmishes were few other initiatives which were undertaken during Rajnath Singh`s previous tenure as Home Minister to facilitate border dwellers. Lt Gen. Harpal Singh underlined the contribution of BRO to the nation in far flung areas of the country under extremely difficult and harsh conditions. Admiring the contribution of Project Sampark and congratulating all the employees associated with this project, he offered his sincere thanks to the Defence Minister, MoS PMO, Chief of Army Staff and other dignitaries and locals for their support for completion of this project. Later, the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the 617.40 metre long Basantar Bridge on Rajpura- Madwal- Pangadur- Phulpur road over Basantar River in Samba District. The Basantar Bridge has been constructed with a total cost of Rs 41.7 crore under 69 Road Construction Company of 13 Border Roads Task Force under supervision of Project Sampark. Besides Union Minister of State in PMO, Dr Jitender Singh, Chief of Army Staff, Gen Bipin Rawat, Member Parliament Jugal Kishore Sharma, Director General Border Roads, Lt Gen Harpal Singh, GOC Gurj Division, Maj Gen Y P Khanduri, DC Samba Sushma Chauhan, Former legislators of Samba and Vijaypur and others Army and Civil administration officers were present. Speaking on the occasion, Defence Minister said that construction of Basantar Bridge will provide hassle-free connectivity and is vital for mobility of security forces in border areas besides the Bridge will also be a big relief for the locals of border villages of Samba as road connectivity used to get severed during monsoons. Terming construction of Basantar Bridge a great achievement by BRO, the Defence Minister said that the roads and bridges are the lifeline of any nation and play a vital role in the socio-economic development of far-flung regions and population. Rajnath Singh also praised BRO personnel for working in the most hostile and the difficult areas, away from their families and rendering commendable services through construction and maintenance of roads and bridges in border areas fulfilling the strategic need of Indian Defence Forces. Reiterating the Central Government’s commitment to the development of connectivity in Jammu and Kashmir area, he said that the Prime Minister is regularly monitoring the progress of these projects and funds are being ensured accordingly. Enumerating the various initiatives launched by the Central Government, the Union Minister said that apart from this Bridge, Community and Individual bunkers in border areas, increasing livestock insurance during cross border shelling, reservation in jobs of border areas were few other initiatives of the Union Government. On the occasion, Jugal Kishore Sharma highlighted the development programmes of central government and steps for boosting connectivity in the State. He also raised the issue of up-gradation of road from Jourian to Pargwal under BRO in Akhnoor sector for the convenience of the people.
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