India claims to have doubled budget for roads and bridges at Chinese border

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* Indian and Chinese troops clashed at the border

* Both sides have developed roads near the undefined border

* Magnitude of the deployment of troops more than in the past – Minister

By Sanjeev Miglani

NEW DELHI, Sept.15 (Reuters) – India has doubled the budget for vital roads and bridges along the unbounded border with China in recent years in response to Beijing’s rapid infrastructure development on its side, said Indian Minister of Defense on Tuesday.

Troops from both countries have been stuck in their most serious confrontations for years along the Line of Real Control (LAC) or the informal border in the western Himalayas, raising fears of wider conflict.

One of the reasons for the tensions has been the recent construction by India of roads and airfields near the border in the Ladakh region bordering Tibet, the Chinese side said.

Defense Minister Rajnath Singh told parliament that China has been building its infrastructure in remote mountains for decades and the government is trying to bridge the gap.

“Our government has also increased the budget for the development of border infrastructure to about double the previous levels. As a result, more roads and bridges have been built in the border areas,” he said. He did not provide any figures.

Military officials say the development of roads and airfields on both sides of the border has also helped troops mobilize quickly in large numbers and close to parts of the Ladakh region.

Singh said Indian and Chinese troops have had volatile border confrontations in the past, but the scale of the troop deployment and the number of contested areas are far more than in the past.

“From now on, the Chinese side has mobilized a large number of troops and armaments along the LAC as well as in the deep areas,” he said, listing Gogra, Kongka La and the northern shores and south of Pangong Lake like “friction points.”

“In response to China’s actions, our armed forces have also carried out appropriate counter-deployments to these areas to ensure that India’s security interests are fully protected,” he told reporters. offices of parliament.

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