Border Roads Organisation

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Border Roads Organisation
Border Roads Organisation logo.svg
BRO Logo
AbbreviationBRO
Formation7 May 1960
Legal statusActive
PurposeProviding infrastructure to the armed forces of India and friendly nations
HeadquartersSeema Sadak Bhawan, New Delhi
Region served
India, Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar, Afghanistan
Director General
Lt. Gen. Rajeev Chaudhary[1]Lieutenant General Rajeev Chaudhry, 27th Director General Border Roads (DGBR)
Parent organisation
Ministry of Defence (India)
Budget
21,000.08 crore (US$2.8 billion) (2021-22)[2]
Award(s)
Websitewww.bro.gov.in

The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) is a road construction executive force in India that provides support to and is a part of the Indian Armed Forces. BRO develops and maintains road networks in India's border areas and friendly neighboring countries. This includes infrastructure operations in 19 states and three union territories (including Andaman and Nicobar Islands) and neighboring countries such as Afghanistan, Bhutan, Myanmar, Tajikistan and Sri Lanka. As of 2015, BRO had constructed over 50,000 kilometres (31,000 mi) of roads, over 450 permanent bridges with a total length of over 44,000 metres (27 mi) length and 19 airfields in strategic locations. BRO is also tasked with maintaining this infrastructure including operations such as snow clearance.[3][4][5] BRO is instrumental in significantly upgrading and building new India-China Border Roads.

Officers from the Border Roads Engineering Service (BRES) and personnel from the General Reserve Engineer Force (GREF) form the parent cadre of the BRO. It is also staffed by officers and troops drawn from the Indian Army's Corps of Engineers on extra regimental employment (on deputation). The Indian Army Pioneer Corps are attached to BRO task forces. BRO is also included in the Order of Battle of the Armed Forces, ensuring their support at any time.[6]

The organisations motto is Shramena Sarvam Sadhyam (everything is achievable through hardwork).[7]

Vaishali S Hiwase is the first woman officer for BRO road project along border with China.[8][9]

History[edit]

The BRO was formed on 7 May 1960 to secure India's borders and develop infrastructure in remote areas of the north and north-east states of the country.[10] In order to ensure coordination and expeditious execution of projects, the Government of India set up the Border Roads Development Board (BRDB) with the Prime Minister as Chairman of the Board and Defence Minister as Deputy Chairman. Today, the board exercises the financial and other powers of a Department of Government of India and is chaired by the Minister of State for Defence (Raksha Rajya Mantri, RRM). Among others, Chief(s) of Army and Air Staff, Engineer-in-Chief, Director General Border Roads (DGBR), FA(DS) are members of the BRDB. The Secretary of the Board exercises the powers of Joint Secretary to the Government of India. The executive head of the BRO is the DGBR who holds the rank of Lieutenant General.[11] In a bid to boost border connectivity, BRO has been entirely brought under the Ministry of Defence in 2015. Earlier it received funds from the Ministry of Surface Transport under the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.[12][13]

Organisation[edit]

The BRO consists of Border Roads Wing under the Ministry of Defense and the General Reserve Engineer Force (GREF). Officers are selected through the Indian Engineering Services (IES) Examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). Few officers are also deputed from Indian Army Corps of Engineers, who are posted to GREF on ERE. The GREF includes civil engineers, mechanical engineers, administrative officers and medical officers.

The Border Roads Engineering Service (BRES) officers are governed by Central Civil Services (CCS/ CCA) Rules, 1965. They also subjected to all provisions of the Army Act, 1950 and Army Rules, 1954 except a few exceptions as given in SRO 329 and SRO 330 both 23 September 1960. GREF is an integral part of the Armed Forces within meaning of Article 33[14] of the Constitution of India and members of GREF are also members of the Armed Forces as declared by the Supreme Court in respect of R. Viswan vs Union of India 1983 and authorized for all benefits which are applicable to Armed Forces of India.[6]

The organisation's operations are spread across India, Bhutan, Myanmar, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan.[3]

The BRO includes 18 projects, which are divided into Task Forces, Road Construction Companies (RCCs), Bridge Construction Companies (BCCs), Drain Maintenance Companies (DMCs), and Platoons. The organisation also includes base workshops, store divisions, training and recruitment centers, and other staff.[15]

An Internal Financial Advisor (IFA) supports the BRO, performing the roles of Chief Accounts Officer and Internal Auditor. This system was introduced on 23 March 1995 to introduce efficiency and improve resource utilisation.[16] The IFA secured ISO 9001 certification in December 1999.

The organisation employs laborers locally. No local laborer is deployed in BRO for more than 179 days at a stretch, thus keeping the nature of their employment casual.[17]

Ranks[edit]

Rank group General/flag officers Field/senior officers Junior officers Officer cadet
Indian Border
Roads Organisation

Lieutenant General of the Indian Army.svg Border Roads Organisation OF-7.svg Border Roads Organisation OF-6.svg Border Roads Organisation OF-5.svg Border Roads Organisation OF-4.svg Border Roads Organisation OF-3.svg Border Roads Organisation OF-2.svg
Director general
-
Additional director general
-
Chief Engineer
-
Superintending Engineer
-
Executive Engineer (NFSG)
-
Executive Engineer
-
Assistant Executive Engineer
-

Director General of Border Roads[edit]

BRO Organization Chart

A list of the Director General of Border Roads (DGBR):[18][19]

  1. Maj Gen KN Dubey, PVSM
  2. Maj Gen RA Loomba
  3. Maj Gen Arjan Singh
  4. Maj Gen JS Bawa, AVSM
  5. Brig Gobinder Singh
  6. Maj Gen VV Bhide, AVSM
  7. Maj Gen JS Soin, PVSM
  8. Maj Gen S Ahluwalia, AVSM
  9. Maj Gen JM Rai, AVSM
  10. Maj Gen JC Sachdeva, PVSM
  11. Lt Gen MS Gosain, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
  12. Lt Gen Maharaj Singh, PVSM, AVSM
  13. Lt Gen Vimal Shinghal, PVSM, ADC
  14. Lt Gen RJ Mordecai, PVSM, AVSM
  15. Lt Gen AK Puri, PVSM, AVSM
  16. Lt Gen Prakash Suri, PVSM
  17. Lt Gen Ranjit Singh, SM
  18. Lt Gen KS Rao, AVSM
  19. Lt Gen AK Nanda, AVSM
  20. Lt Gen MC Badhani, PVSM, VSM
  21. Lt Gen S Ravi Shankar,VSM, PVSM
  22. Lt Gen AT Parnaik,SM, VSM
  23. Lt Gen RM Mittal, PVSM,AVSM, SM, VSM
  24. Lt Gen  Suresh Sharma, AVSM[20]
  25. Lt Gen SK Shrivastava, AVSM
  26. Lt Gen Harpal Singh, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
  27. Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhry (incumbent)[21]

Centres of excellence[edit]

In June 2021, the "Centre of Excellence for Road Safety & Awareness" and "Centre of Excellence for Roads, Bridges, Air Fields and Tunnels" were set up.[22]

Role of the BRO[edit]

A Himank BRO road sign in Ladakh

Roles of the BRO include:[6]

During Peace

  1. To develop and maintain the operational road infrastructure of General Staff (GS) roads in the border areas.
  2. To contribute to the socio-economic development of the border states.

During War

  1. To develop and maintain roads to keep line of control through in original sectors and re-deployed sectors.
  2. To execute additional tasks as laid down by the government contributing to the war effort.

BRO is entrusted for construction of roads, bridges, tunnels, causeways, helipads and airfields. The BRO is also in charge of maintenance of its road networks. In many places landslides, avalanches and snow block the routes and have to be cleared as quickly as possible. BRO also employs more than 200,000 casual paid labours in the task.

Projects and initiatives[edit]

The BRO undertakes projects in India and friendly countries. These projects typically include developing roads, bridges, and airfields in hostile environments shunned by private enterprises, whether due to security concerns related to hostilities, or because of environmental challenges. BRO has been active during the 1962 war, the conflicts with Pakistan in 1965 and 1971, and has also been active in anti-insurgency operations in the northeast.[6]

The BRO operates in 18 projects namely: Arunank, Beacon, Brahmank, Chetak, Deepak, Dantak[23] (Bhutan), Himank, Hirak, Pushpak, Sampark, Setuk (currently non-functional), Sewak, Shivalik, Swastik, Udayak, Vartak and Vijayak.[24]

BRO projects in India and friendly nations
Chief Engineer/ BRO Project HQ/ Location[25] Notes
Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh
1 Beacon Srinagar Beacon is the oldest BRO project (along with Vartak). Initially known as Chief Engineer Roads (Ladakh) when it was initiated in 1960; it was renamed as Chief Engineer Project Beacon. Roads under Beacon include NH1A, NH1B, NH1D, Zoji La tunnel.[26][5]
2 Himank Leh Beacon was divided into projects Sampark and Himank.[26]
3 Sampark Jammu
4 Vijayak Leh Raised in September 2010.[27]
Sikkim, Northeast
6 Vartak Tezpur One of two projects raised in May 1960 and focused on Arunachal Pradesh. Formerlly designated Project Tusker. Undertakes China Study Group roads.[26][5]
5 Udayak Dumduma One of the two older projects raised in May 1960. Assigned road infrastructure projects in the north-east region of the country.[26]
7 Arunanak Gurubanda Vartak was divided into Arunanak. Raised at Naharlagun.[28]
8 Sewak Dimapur Road development in the north-east amidst insurgency; roads include the Zunheboto-Aghunato-Kiphire road.[26]
9 Pushpak Aizawal Roads in north-east India including Mizoram, Assam and Manipur; NH-39, NH-53.[26]
10 Setuk Shillong Raised in 1990 for bridge construction. Re-structured in 1994 to assist in other road development projects in the north-east. Project has also been assigned fencing along the India Bangladesh border.[26]
11 Swastik Gangtok Revived in 2008. Roads in Sikkim.[27]
Other states
12 Hirak Nagpur Hirak (transl. Black Diamond) are responsible for the NH-16 and roads and bridges in the naxal areas. It has also undertaken work in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.[26]
13 Shivalik Rishikesh Road infrastructure to the international border.[27]
14 Deepak Shimla Project Deepak continues to improve roads in Uttarakhand. It keeps open the roads to Char Dhams and Gurudwara Shri Hemkund Sahib.[26]
15 Brahmank Pasaighat
16 Chetak Bikaner Raised in 1962 and named after Maharana Pratap's horse Chetak. Roads and development undertaken include the Joshimath-Malari-Rinkin road, Rishikesh-Badrinath road, Tanankpur-Tawaghat road, NH4B, 17B, and naval airfield resurfacing in Maharashtra.[26]
Projects include Rohtang.
National-International
17 Dantak Simtokha Initiated in Bhutan, Dantak now covers adjacent India states. Roads developed include Sherbathang-Nathu La road, Gangtok-Sherbathang road and Sevoke-Gangtok road.[26]
Projects have also included those in Myanmar.and Afghanistan (Zaranj).

Disaster management and reconstruction[edit]

The BRO also played a vital role in reconstruction work in the aftermath of the devastating 2004 tsunami in Tamil Nadu, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake,[29] and the 2010 Ladakh flash floods.[30]

Overseas infrastructure development[edit]

Some of these projects carry out some of the development initiatives of the Indian government in foreign territories like Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Myanmar, and Bhutan. These include the Delaram-Zaranj Highway in Afghanistan, completed and handed over to the Afghan government during 2008,[31] and the restoration of the Farkhor[32] and Ayni[33] air bases in Tajikistan.

Border infrastructure development[edit]

In response to the ever-present security threat from Pakistan and increased incursions and rapid border infrastructure from China, India too is undertaking border infrastructure development.

Border roads[edit]

As per July 2017 update to Lok Sabha from the Government of India, construction of 73 completed strategic roads along the Sino-India border was approved in 2005 with an initial and currently revised deadlines of 2012-2013 and 2019-2020 respectively, including 43 by the Ministry of Defence and 27 by the Ministry of Home Affairs, of which only 21 roads by March 2017 and 30 roads by July 2017 have been completed and remaining are under construction as progress was slowed down due to wildlife conservation and environmental approval, insurgency related security hurdles, delay in land acquisition by the states, inaccessible terrain, inclement weather, etc. BRO is constructing 63 out of these 73 roads as it costs BRO 15 million (equivalent to 18 million, US$240,000 or €210,000 in 2020) to 30 million (equivalent to 36 million, US$470,000 or €410,000 in 2020) per km compared to 60 million (equivalent to 72 million, US$950,000 or €820,000 in 2020) to 70 million (equivalent to 83 million, US$1.1 million or €960,000 in 2020) per km of road construction by the private companies.[34][35] In two years alone, 2015–16 and 2016–17, prime minister Narendra Modi's government has allocated more than US$4.7 billion in contracts for the development of border roads, which also includes the US$256 million 1,360 kilometres (850 mi) India–Myanmar–Thailand Trilateral Highway from Moreh in Manipur through Tamu, Myanmar to Mae Sot in Thailand.[36]

In July 2020, BRO was also tasked with building new roads to connect eastern Bhutan to westen Tawang area such as Lumla-Trashigang road through Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary.[37]

Road bridges[edit]

To provide multiple points of alternative connectivity to the forces, BRO is building 410 2-lane class-70 (heavy load bearing including tanks) road bridges along the 3,440 km long McMahon Line border with China, including 144 in Arunachal Pradesh (75 already under construction and will be completed by 2020), 100 under construction in Jammu and Kashmir, 55 under construction in Uttrakhand, 40 under construction in Sikkim and 25 under construction in Himachal Pradesh (c. Dec 2017).[38] The annual pace of construction is 3 km of bridges (c. Dec 2017).[38] On 12 October 2020 Defense Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated 44 new bridges.[39]

Border tunnels[edit]

In November 2017 BRO announced the plan to construct 17 road and rail tunnels, with a total length of 100 km, on some of the 73 strategic roads on Sino-Indian border to provide the year-round all-weather rail and road surface connectivity. Currently, surface access to high altitude posts on Sino-India border is closed for six months every year due to snowfall and rain, and supplies are through air lift only. Some of these 17 tunnels are already under construction, including Srinagar-Kargil-Leh NH1 in J&K (Zoji La pass tunnel), Leh-Manali Highway in J&K and Himachal Pradesh (Lungalacha La, Bara-lacha la, Tanglang La, Shingo La near Nimo and Rohtang Tunnel), 578 meter Theng Pass tunnel on NH310A between Chungthang and Tung in North Sikkim, Nechipu Pass (near Bomdila) and Sela Pass tunnels on Bogibeel Assam to Sagalee to Tawang NH13 in Arunachal Pradesh. This will reduce the travel time and operational costs, eliminate the risk of avalanche and landslide.[40][41]

Decorations[edit]

Awards attained by BRO personnel between 1960 and 31 January 2020:[42]

The President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, presenting the Shaurya Chakra Award to Mrs. Raji Genesan EX-GS-173840X, Genesan M, BRO (Posthumous) 2007

In 2009, eight Shaurya Chakras, all posthumous, were awarded to BRO personnel for their actions in places such as Afghanistan, Sikkim, the north-east and Jammu and Kashmir.[43] Bulldozer operator Zalim Singh, Bar to the Shaurya Chakra, was crushed by boulders while clearing a strategic road for Indian Army tanks. Two BRO men working on BRO's Project Zaranj in Afghanistan were killed during a suicide bomb attack on Zaranj-Delaram highway. Engineer Santosh Kumar Singh and driver Jaikrit Singh Rawat, while working on the Kishtwar-Sinthan Pass, died in an ambush. Others died or were killed in places such as Meghalaya, Kailash Mansarovar, Kali River and Hapoli Sarli-Huri road.[44]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhary Takes Over As BRO Chief". The Sentinel. 2 December 2020. Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  2. ^ "Budget 2021: FM allocates Rs 4.78 lakh crore to defence ministry". Business Today. 1 February 2021. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  3. ^ a b Annual Report 2014–2015. Border Roads Organisation. (Chapter 7). Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. Government of India. Archived on 12 February 2021.
  4. ^ Annual Report 2002–2003. Border Roads Organisation. (Chapter 8). Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. Government of India. Archived on 12 February 2021.
  5. ^ a b c Annual Report 2015–2016. Ministry of Defence. Government of India. Accessed on 13 June 2021.
  6. ^ a b c d Bhagwati, P (6 May 1983). "Supreme Court of India: R. Viswan & Others vs Union Of India & Others on 6 May, 1983". Indian Kanoon. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  7. ^ "Inherent Strengths". Border Roads Organisation. Border Roads Organisation. Speed, Economy and quality. Archived from the original on 21 September 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2010.
  8. ^ "BRO appoints first woman officer for road project along border with China". The Hindu. PTI. 29 April 2021. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 12 July 2021.CS1 maint: others (link)
  9. ^ "Border Roads Organisation Appoints First Woman Officer For Road Project Along Border With China". NDTV.com. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
  10. ^ "Border Roads Organisation". GlobalSecurity.org. Alexandria, Virginia: GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved 25 September 2010.
  11. ^ "DG's Message". Border Roads Organisation. Border Roads Organisation. Archived from the original on 26 May 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2011.
  12. ^ India, Press Trust of (31 December 2014). "Border Roads Organisation to be brought exclusively under Defence Ministry: Parrikar". Border Roads Organisation. Border Roads Organisation. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
  13. ^ Kulkarni, Pranav (1 January 2015). "BRO to come under sole control of Defence Ministry". The Indian Express. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  14. ^ "Article 33 in The Constitution Of India 1949". Indian Kanoon.
  15. ^ "Organisation Chart". Border Roads Organisation. Border Roads Organisation. Archived from the original on 27 July 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2010.
  16. ^ Mohan, Devendra, IFA System in Lower Formations of Border Roads Organisation, Pune, India: National Academy of Defence Financial Management, Mindistry of Defence, Government of India, archived from the original (Microsoft Word) on 19 June 2009, retrieved 25 September 2010
  17. ^ Panghat, Brig (4 February 2005). "GREF not Industry governed by Industrial Dispute Act". Daily Excelsior. Jammu, India. Archived from the original on 3 May 2006. Retrieved 25 September 2010.
  18. ^ "Ex DGs-Border Roads Organisation". www.bro.gov.in. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
  19. ^ "Current Affairs 2020". PendulumEdu. PendulumEdu. 3 December 2020. Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  20. ^ "Lieutenant General Suresh Sharma takes over as Director General Border Roads (DGBR)". Press Information Bureau, Government of India, Ministry of Defence. 2016. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
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  22. ^ Siddiqui, Huma (11 June 2021). "Rajnath Singh inaugurates BRO's two Centres for Excellence". The Financial Express. Retrieved 12 June 2021.
  23. ^ Wangchuk, Rinchen Norbu (5 December 2018). "Jalebi, Dosa & Samosa: How 'Dantak' Is Strengthening India's Friendship with Bhutan". The Better India. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  24. ^ Standing Committee on Defence (February 2019) Fiftieth Report: Provision of all weather road connectivity under Border Roads Organisation (BRO) and other agencies up to International borders as well as the strategic areas including approach roads- An appraisal. Ministry of Defence, Lok Sabha Secretariat, Government of India. Archived from the original on 19 June 2020.
  25. ^ Controller General of Defence Accounts (2008). IFA (Border Roads Manual). Ministry of Defence India. pg 12. Accessed on 13 July 2021.
  26. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Gajria, Brig KT (May 2007). "Border Roads Organisation. Connecting People". Sainik Samachar. Archived from the original on 21 April 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  27. ^ a b c Dutt, Lt Gen. [retd] Gautam (September 2010). "BRO is the best and cheapest organisation for road-building in difficult terrains". Force India. Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  28. ^ Project Arunank- An Overview Border Roads Organisation. pages 9. Archived on 13 June 2021.
  29. ^ "Work in progress to restore vital border road". Outlook India. New Delhi: Outlook Publishing (India). 24 October 2005. Archived from the original on 30 January 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2010.
  30. ^ Watts, Archit (15 September 2010). "Five weeks after floods, Leh-Manali road opens". Chandigarh Tribune. Chandigarh, India: The Tribune Trust. Retrieved 25 September 2010.
  31. ^ Pubby, Manu (23 January 2009). "India hands over Afghan road, trade can now flow via Iran". The Indian Express. New Delhi: The Indian Express Online Media. Retrieved 25 September 2010.
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  33. ^ Bedi, Rahul (20 September 2007). "India may have to quit Tajik military 'base'". Monsters and Critics. Indianapolis: WOTR. Archived from the original on 23 September 2011. Retrieved 25 September 2010.
  34. ^ "73 roads of operational significance being built along China border: Kiren Rijiju", The Economic Times, 18 July 2017.
  35. ^ Sushant Singh, "China border roads hobbling, 12 years later, 21 of 73 ready", Indian Express, 11 July 2017.
  36. ^ "China's Silk Road lends urgency to India's regional ambitions.", Economic Times, 9 August 2017.
  37. ^ India proposes to build road in Bhutan’s ‘Yeti territory’ which China claimed recently, Economic Times, Jul 15, 2020.
  38. ^ a b India building bridges in Arunachal for LAC access, Economic Times, 18 Dec 2017.
  39. ^ Gupta, Shishir (12 October 2020). "54 done, BRO rushes to build 48 bridges that can shoulder T-90 main battle tanks". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  40. ^ "For year-round border security, India plans tunnels on China border.", Economic Times, 6 November 2017.
  41. ^ "Voyants bagged Independent Engineer Services in Arunachal Pradesh"
  42. ^ BRO Scroll of Honour and Awards: 1960 to 31 January 2020. Archived on 12 February 2021.
  43. ^ "Eight Shaurya Chakras for BRO - Indian Express". archive.indianexpress.com. Retrieved 1 September 2020.
  44. ^ "BRO bags 8 Shaurya Chakras". India Today. 25 March 2009. Retrieved 1 September 2020.

External links[edit]