BORDER SECURITY

Doklam standoff: Defence Ministry decides to speed up road construction along India-China border

During a conference of Indian Army commanders, it was decided that four mountain passes along the border will be connected on a priority basis by 2020.

Following the Doklam standoff, the Defence Ministry has decided to enhance infrastructure along the nearly 4,000-kilometre long India-China border, PTI reported on Friday. During a conference of Indian Army commanders, which began on Monday, it was decided that the four mountain passes along the India-China border – Niti, Lipulekh, Thangla 1 and Tsangchokla – would be connected on a priority basis by 2020, ANI reported.

“[At the conference], it was decided that there would be considerable heft towards road construction activities in the northern sector,” the Army’s Director General (Staff Duties) Vijay Singh said. Singh added that the Army was considering organisational changes to some of its formations along the India-China border to enhance its capability.

Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat asked the commanders to be prepared for “all eventualities”, Singh said. He added that the Army chief emphasised on the need to procure arms, ammunition and equipment on a priority basis.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who also attended the conference, lauded the response of the Army in dealing with external and internal threats. Sitharaman emphasised “the need to guard against inimical forces and talked about the need for jointness and integration of all the services in effectively dealing with emerging challenges,” Singh said.

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