Following repeated instances of Chinese incursion in the past, India has fast tracked its major road project along China border to counter potential threat from the neighbouring country.
The Indian Border Roads Organisation would construct 6,000 km long road along 100 km of the China border from Arunachal Pradesh to Jammu & Kashmir. The roads are being extended to Maoist affected areas to tackle threats from Maoist insurgents as well.
In order to ensure the projects meant for complete protection along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) is completed as early as possible, the environment ministry has eased out on environment norms for the aforesaid projects.
Under the existing norms, twice the area being cleared is supposed to be afforested. However, easing out the rules for strategic infrastructure projects, the environment ministry has allowed afforestation, which will be equal to the area being cleared.
"If we don't have good roads, how can we compete with China on strategic defence? We can protect our environment only if we protect our borders," Hindustan Times quoted environment minister Prakash Javadekar as saying.
The new projects, which is said to begin within a few months, would be completed in eight to ten years from now. With the new projects, the existing roads would be widened along the LAC to assure eased movement of military forces and vehicles.
The accelerated projects are seen as a significant step as China is establishing 1,300 km rail network and 8,000 km road network across the border adjoining India.