TODAY -
Choppers to help BRO in AP border
Source: The Sangai Express / PTI

New Delhi, January 21 2010: To expedite strategic road construction in Arunachal Pradesh and other Himalayan states bordering China and Pakistan, the Defence Ministry has asked the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) to hire helicopters from private agencies to airlift material and equipment.

Minister of State for Defence MM Pallam Raju gave the direction to BRO in this regard at a meeting of Border Roads Development Board (BRDB) in Itanagar last evening.

Raju stressed the need to build infrastructure right up to the Chinese and Pakistani borders.

The order came after BRO Director General Lt Gen M C Badhani informed the meeting that IAF's capability to airlift material and equipment to remote places was "extremely low," eading to delays in most border road works in Arunachal Pradesh beyond 2013 .

Against BRO's need for 3,500 tons of material and equipment last year, only 400 tons were actually airlifted, a Defence Minister release said here.

Public sector chopper service Pawan Hans submitted an initial proposal to partially meet the BRO's requirements in the North-East, but their pilots were not trained for hanging payloads for airdropping in inaccessible places lacking landing sites, Badhani said.

Over 75 per cent of BRO's road construction projects are in high altitude areas.

The BRO is at present building 2,764 km of the total 5,061 km road in Arunachal Pradesh alone.


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