Strategic roads unfit for weapons

Strategic roads unfit for weapons

 Even after spending more than Rs 160 crore, half a dozen strategic roads near the China border are unfit to carry weapons like Smerch rockets, Pinaka multibarrel rocket launcher and Bofors artillery guns.

The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) took almost 10 years to improve the conditions of these roads after they were constructed.

The improvement was required to facilitate the transportation of heavy and modern weapons on these roads. The government sanctioned an additional budget.

After the BRO was through with its job, the Indian Army found it could not move the specialised weapons because of the improper gradient, improper turns and poor riding comfort on these roads.

These roads were among the 61 roads on the India-China border under construction totalling more than 3,400 km for which the BRO was given a budget of Rs 4,644 crore.
An audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General found patchy progress on most of the roads and unsatisfactory feedback from the army on the BRO’s claims.

“Improper gradient, undulating surface, improper turning radius, minimum passing places and unsatisfactory riding comfort were found in 17 of the 24 roads selected for the audit.

The users (army) expressed their dissatisfaction as the road work executed by the BRO didn’t adequately meet the user’s requirement,” the CAG said in its report.

The upgraded specifications of these six roads were approved way back in 2007 by the army’s director general of military operations, top brass in the home ministry and the BRO. Additional budgets for the excess work was sanctioned as well.

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