BRO to be brought under Defence Ministry

The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) may be brought under the Defence Ministry (MoD) in near future to improve India’s border road connectivity, which is in shambles more than 50 years after the debacle in the 1962 war.

Currently, the BRO receives funds from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways but undertakes the tasks assigned by the Ministry of Defence. The dual control of the BRO is one of the principal reason behind non-availability of funds and the organisation’s poor performance, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence said in its report tabled on Monday.

Currently, the BRO is constructing 218 roads in Uttarakhand and the North East. But its performance, particularly in respect to the construction of 189 roads in the North East, are under scanner at the highest level in the Defence Ministry.

The Director General Border Roads Lt Gen A T Parnaik, who deposed before the House panel is no longer in his chair as he has been replaced by Lt Gen R M Mittal, who is slated to take over in January, sources told Deccan Herald.

In the last two years, the BRO received more than Rs 110 crore less than what it wanted from the Road Ministry. “It seems that the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, which provides the budget to the BRO, is not aware of the ground realities and importance of maintaining the roads in all weather conditions,” the panel said.

The ministries of defence and road, transport and highways agreed on the proposal on which a formal note was moved to the Cabinet Secretary, Mathur said.

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