Key road project near Myanmar faces cancellation sanction from the Government of China?

This road is still not in its final stages of construction by the BRO. Click image to see representation.

The Mizoram government wrote to the Centre stating that a strategic road project was cancelled because funds are no longer available. It was planned to counter the Chinese-funded double lane highway in Myanmar.

The Border Roads Organisation, (BRO), that was awarded this contract, “has not yet constructed even one metre of the road” in the 26-month period. Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga subsequently wrote to the Centre requesting that the project be handed over to State Public Works Department.

K. Vanlalvena from Mizoram was a Rajya Sabha member and wrote to Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane stating that DoNER, the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), planned to withdraw the project’s sanction as the time allowed for completion of work had expired.

“Even though it has been 26 months since the work sanctioned, BRO has not yet constructed even one metre of that said road. Since the time allowed for completion of this work has expired, the Ministry of DoNER intends to withdraw the sanction,” Mr. Vanlalvena explained.

Through the North Eastern Council, the Ministry of DoNER approved Rs66 crore to construct the double-lane border road Sangau to Saisih Chhuah linking Myanmar and Mizoram. The DoNER had given the contract to BRO two years earlier.

“It might be mentioned that the Myanmar government had already constructed a double-lane road on Myanmar’s side, up to the Mizoram frontier at Saisih Chhuah starting from the capital of Chin State Hakha, Myanmar, three years back with financial sanction by China,” the Defence Secretary stated.

BRO officials who were responsible for the failure to report the incident were asked to be disciplined. “This border road is vital not only for the Mizoram tribe people, but also for national security.”

The Hindu was told by the Rajya Sabha Member that all types of vehicles could travel up to the Mizoram border after Myanmar constructed the road with the Chinese government’s help.

“The Mizoram government built a small road. It is single-lane, non metal, and not an all weather road. “The Chief Minister requested that the Centre hand over the project for the strategic road to State PWD in the event that the BRO is unable to complete the construction,” Mr. Vanlalvena explained.

Concerning the claims made in the Mizoram MP’s complaint, the BRO did no respond.

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