India to match China’s infrastructure on borders in 2 years: Lt General RP Kalita

In a series of statements, Lt General Rana Pratap Kalita, the Eastern Army Commander, has confidently asserted that within the next two years, India is poised to equal China’s level of infrastructure development along their shared borders. 

This ambitious goal comes despite China’s current advantage, which stems from an earlier start in developing border infrastructure.

General Kalita, who is set to retire at the end of December 2023, highlighted the significant progress India has made in recent years, narrowing the infrastructural gap with its neighbour. 

He pointed out that while the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China holds an edge in certain specific areas, India has otherwise been successful in matching their capabilities.

Moreover, the general outlined the priority areas for India’s border infrastructure development, which include enhancing road connectivity up to the border posts, improving data communication and mobile connectivity, and establishing helipads and airports in remote regions. 

These developments are crucial due to the challenging terrain, which is prone to natural calamities such as landslides, snowslides, and avalanches, making air transport facilities like advanced landing grounds (ALGs) essential.

Furthermore, General Kalita emphasized the need for proper accommodations for personnel operating in these areas.

Also, plans are underway to construct alternative road networks in strategic locations such as Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. 

This initiative became particularly urgent after flash floods in the Teesta River on October 4th washed away parts of the National Highway 10 at Singtam, leaving north Sikkim isolated—a region of high strategic importance due to its proximity to China, Nepal, and Bhutan.

The infrastructure development is not solely for military purposes; it also aims to improve the lives of the local population.

Enhanced infrastructure will facilitate better living conditions and create opportunities for economic growth through increased tourism activities.

As India continues to advance its border infrastructure, the nation demonstrates its commitment to securing its frontiers and fostering prosperity for its citizens in border areas.

Noteworthy, the next couple of years will be pivotal in achieving the goal set by Lt General Rana Pratap Kalita, marking a significant milestone in India’s strategic development.