Nitin Gadkari, India’s Minister of Road and Transport, has said 17 highways along border areas will be developed to double up as airstrips which will have immense strategic value.
China is already rattled by the inauguration of the longest bridge connecting Assam and Arunanchal Pradesh, reducing the travel time by 5 hours and a whopping 165 kms between the two cities. Its evident that the government is thinking strategically and is on a spree to safeguard the borders with the not-so friendly neighbors.
IAF (Indian Air Force) has asked the highways authority to build the highways at the appropriate locations so that they can be used by IAF to land jets in case of insurgencies/operations. The current proposal is to build such highways in 10 states (mostly bordering states).
The same was displayed by the IAF on the Yamuna Expressway during may 2015 by landing Mirage 2000 jets while making news within and with our beloved neighbors.
“People residing in border areas need highway network and better infrastructure. We are building 17 such highways which can be converted into airstrips,” Gadkari told PTI. These highways will be equipped with weapon storage dumps, landing lights, fuel and fire-fighting equipment.
Indian defense ministry has also expedited the work for carrying out final location survey of Misamari (Bhalukpong)-Tenga-Tawang strategic rail new line from March this year. meanwhile the Chinese Foreign Ministry told an Indian news agency – “We hope India adopts a cautious and restrained attitude on the issue before the final settlement of the border issue with China to jointly control disputes, safeguard peace and tranquility in border areas”.
While China considers/claims the upper part of Arunanchal Pradesh as South Tibet and its territory, Nitin Gadkari announced a budget of $7.5 billion on road constructions in Arunanchal Pradesh, giving a firm blow to the self beliefs of China.