Samba, July 20: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today 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.
The programme was attended by 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.
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. He further said that the Bridge will also boost the local socio-economic growth of the area.
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.