Rajnath ties ‘natural
disasters’ in border
states to security,
calls for study

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Chamoli (Uttarakhand): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday called for a study on ‘natural disasters’ in border states while calling for a study to determine the involvement of an ‘enemy country’, if any.

Ruling out the chances of them being just a weather-related phenomenon, he said they were related to national security.

Singh was speaking at an event held in Joshimath in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district on Friday. During his visit to the district, the Raksha Mantri inaugurated 35 infrastructure projects constructed by the Border Road Organisation (BRO) across seven states.

Chamoli: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at the inauguration of 29 bridges and six roads constructed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) across seven States/Union Territories at a cost of Rs 670 crore, at Joshimath in Chamoli on Friday. (ANI Photo)
Chamoli: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at the inauguration of 29 bridges and six roads constructed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) across seven States/Union Territories at a cost of Rs 670 crore, at Joshimath in Chamoli on Friday. (ANI Photo)

He said it has been noticed that certain border states such as Uttarakhand, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim saw an increase in the number of natural disasters in recent years.

The Himalayas extend to other states as well, but such incidents are confined to certain states only, the Defence Minister said, adding that many experts believe that these natural disasters are an outcome of climate change.

Expressing concerns over shifting weather patterns, the Raksha Mantri said, “Climate change in the country is not just a weather-related phenomenon but is related to national security. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has taken it very seriously and will seek help from friendly countries in probing the involvement of any enemy country, if any.”Singh also raised concerns over migration from the bordering district of Uttarakhand.

There has been a large number of migrations from the border areas in Uttarakhand which is a matter of concern, he said.

Chamoli: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurates 29 bridges and six roads constructed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) across seven States/Union Territories at a cost of Rs 670 crore, at Joshimath in Chamoli on Friday. (ANI Photo)
Chamoli: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurates 29 bridges and six roads constructed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) across seven States/Union Territories at a cost of Rs 670 crore, at Joshimath in Chamoli on Friday. (ANI Photo)

He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami were working together to take all the schemes related to infrastructure and development to the far corners of the state.

The government want the country’s development journey to reach from the sea to the borders, Singh said.

“We are committed to providing connectivity to every border area through public infrastructure such as roads, bridges and tunnels. These projects not only have strategic importance but are also related to the development and welfare of the people living in our border areas. We believe that people living near the borders are no less than soldiers. If a soldier protects the country wearing a uniform, then people living in these areas are also doing a great service to their motherland,” he said.

He also lauded the women engineers of BRO, who played an important role in the rescue of trapped workers in the Silkyara Tunnel in Uttarakhand last year.

“Just two months ago, our brothers and sisters at the BRO played a special role in the daring operation carried out inside the Silkyra Tunnel of Uttarakhand to rescue the trapped labourers. The team of women BRO engineers played an important role in the rescue mission. They completed the task successfully through their tireless and hard work,” Singh said. (ANI)