Nelong Valley: The Centre has undertaken a special project to connect all the border posts along the Sino-India frontier with roads, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday.
Singh ringed in the new year with the troops of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) at the border post located at a height of 11,614 feet in Uttarakhand. This was the first time a home minister or a senior Union minister paid a visit to the Nelong border post.
"A project is underway to connect all the border outposts along the Sino-India border with roads," Singh said, addressing the ITBP jawans and officers. He added that while a number of border posts had already been connected with roads, many more would be linked soon.
Visited Nelong BOP and interacted with @ITBP_official jawans and officers on the first day of 2018. I salute their indomitable spirit and courage. These brave soldiers make many sacrifices to secure our borders. pic.twitter.com/WEXwuxNxgh
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) January 1, 2018
— HMO India (@HMOIndia) January 1, 2018
— ITBP (@ITBP_official) January 1, 2018
Talking about the incidents of Chinese incursion, he said the ITBP was successful in preventing such incidents. "China is our neighbouring country and we have good relations with them. India has always tried to maintain good relations with its neighbours," Singh said.
Stating that there were some "perceptional differences" with China regarding the Sino-India border, he said, "There had been some face-offs with China, but no such incident had occurred in the recent past," PTI reported.
India had never been expansionist, Singh said, adding that the country simply wanted to remain secure like any other country in the world.
"China is a growing economy and India is also the fastest-growing economy in the world. So, it is obvious that these two countries would not want a tussle between them," he said.
Singh also instructed the ITBP personnel, in the presence of the force's Director General (DG), RK Pachnanda, to find out ways to rotate the troops at such high-altitude posts in less than three months' time. Currently, the troops are rotated every three months.
"I have come here to see the conditions in which the ITBP jawans are guarding the Sino-India border," the minister said.
He added that the Centre had recently decided that the light-weight, special winter clothing, which was earlier provided to the troops posted at an altitude of above 14,000 feet, would now also be provided to the jawans posted at a height of over 9,000 feet.
Snow scooters, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and mountaineering equipment were also being provided to the jawans, Singh said.
The ITBP was raised in the aftermath of the Chinese aggression of 1962 and is tasked with guarding the 3,488-km- long Sino-India border.
(With PTI inputs)