Rajnath Singh inaugurates Sisseri bridge, calls for bolstering border infrastructure in NE

PASIGHAT, Nov 17: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has called for bolstering border infrastructure in the Northeast, saying national security is the government’s topmost priority.
He said this after inaugurating the bridge over the Sisseri river in Lower Dibang Valley district on Friday. The 200-metre-long bridge connecting the Jonai-Pasighat-Ranaghat-Roing road will provide connectivity between Dibang Valley and East Siang districts and cut down the travel time from Pasighat to Roing by about five hours.
“The government has adopted the Border Area Development Programme in its plan, keeping in view the security of the people residing in the border areas.
“Infrastructural upgradation is necessary for the security of the Northeast and the entire country,” he added.
Singh informed that Rs 50 crore has already been sanctioned by the union ministry for carrying out survey work for establishment and extension of railway network in the state. He also mentioned that Itanagar is being connected by air shortly.
The defence minister said the government’s focus on the Act East Policy would open up rapid infrastructural development in the NE, especially Arunachal. He expressed confidence that “just as the Sisseri river bridge would help the development of Lower Dibang Valley and East Siang, strong infrastructure in Arunachal Pradesh would also act as a bridge between India and South-East Asian countries.”
He also said that the prime minister took the decision to stay out of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), keeping in mind the economic interests of the country, especially the Northeast.
“You must have seen that during the ASEAN summit in Bangkok recently, our PM took a very important decision that India will not be a part of RCEP… Farmers, labourers, factories and industries would have got affected had India joined the RCEP. This is a big decision,” he said.
Singh also commended the BRO for constructing and maintaining roads and bridges in the border areas all over the country and meeting the strategic needs of the armed forces.
Chief Minister Pema Khandu, who accompanied Singh, elaborated the importance of the Sisseri bridge in connecting various districts of eastern Arunachal and the neighbouring state. He also described the BRO as “one of the major stakeholders in the infrastructural development of Arunachal Pradesh.”
Director General Border Roads, Lt Gen Harpal Singh, and Lok Sabha MP Tapir Gao also spoke.
The Sisseri bridge will provide further connectivity to Tinsukia and other towns of Assam via the Dhola-Sadia bridge. It will also give a major boost to tourism and marketing of the famed Dambuk oranges and other horticulture produces.
Among others, Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar, DGP RP Upadhyaya, MLAs Lombo Tayeng, Gum Tayeng, Kaling Moyong, Ojing Tasing, J Ete Deori and Zignu Namchoom, and DIG (Central Range) Issac Pertin were present on the occasion. (DIPRO & Defence PRO)