(This News Article Is Originally Posted on The Hindu by Damini Nath)
The Central Public Works Department (CPWD) has floated tenders worth a total of ₹212.99 crores this month for laying and maintenance of three high altitude roads on the India-China border in Ladakh.
While the projects are titled as roads “to Indo China Border” from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police bases at Shilung La, Nyakmikle and Hena, the three tender documents said: “The work is situated in Leh District of U.T. of Ladakh near International Border.” All three roads would be single lane projects as per the relevant specifications of National Highways, according to the documents.
The CPWD floated one tender on March 12 and two on March 19 and set the date for opening of bids as April 8 and April 15 respectively. The single-lane road project of 10.22 km length till the Shilung La base was estimated to take 42 months and cost ₹93.80 crore, according to the tender document.
The Nyakmikle road project was estimated to cost ₹55.37 crore and take 30 months for construction of the 9.29 km stretch. The 7.64 km Hena project till the ITBP post was estimated to cost ₹63.82 crore and take up to 30 months to construct, the tender document showed.
According to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs’ report presented on March 15, the Centre had informed the panel that a “standalone project” of constructing a critical road along the border in Ladakh was ongoing. The Ministry of Home Affairs also informed the panel, which is chaired by Congress MP Anand Sharma, that 57 roads along the Indo-China border were being constructed, as well as 47 outposts, 32 helipads and 18-foot tracks in Arunachal Pradesh.