New Delhi, Jun 11 (PTI) Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday inaugurated two centres of excellence of the Border Roads Organisation which have been set up to foster growth in the construction of roads, bridges, airfields and tunnels as well as to ensure road safety.
One of the centres will institutionalise the knowledge gained by the BRO over the years in the development of almost 60,000 kilometres of roads, 56,000 metres of bridges, 19 airfields and four tunnels in the eastern and north-western parts of the country, officials said.
The two centres have been established at the BRO's headquarters in the national capital.
'These Centres have been established to achieve excellence in road safety as well as foster growth in construction of roads, bridges, airfields and tunnels,' the defence ministry said.
In his address on the occasion, Singh appreciated the efforts of the BRO in establishing the two centres and expressed confidence that they will play a pivotal role in saving precious lives.
Terming road accidents as a silent pandemic that claims around 1.5 lakh lives every year, he said that the government has taken a number of initiatives such as the National Road Safety Policy, Motor Vehicle Act 2020 and identification of black spots on national highways to tackle the problem.
Singh also lauded the role played by the BRO in the progress of the nation since its inception by building roads, tunnels and other infrastructure in remote areas.
He praised the efforts of the BRO for working tirelessly in tough weather conditions to increase connectivity in border areas, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Describing connectivity as an essential component of a nation's progress, he said the BRO is catering to the needs of the armed forces as well as working towards the socio-economic development of the border areas.
The defence minister especially mentioned the recent achievements of the BRO, including the construction of the 'Atal Tunnel in Rohtang and Zojila pass.
Singh also talked about various measures taken by the government for the development of the BRO.
These include an increase in the budget of the BRO, approval of special high-altitude clothing for the personnel of the organisation as well as cadre review to boost the morale of its workforce. PTI MPB KJ KJ