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‘Clashes result of improved patrolling due to better infra’

NEW DELHI: Face-offs between Indian and Chinese troops in sensitive areas of eastern

Ladakh

have become frequent but these clashes are seen as the outcome of India’s improved patrolling due to

better infrastructure

, which has been built in the past few years.

Government sources

said frequent face-offs were not necessarily a sign of weakness or bad relations, but indicated a greater ability on the part of the

Indian Army

to monitor, detect and respond to PLA patrolling. As infrastructure keeps improving, these possibilities will only increase, sources said.

“To trace the genesis of this infrastructure creation, one has to go back to 2014. One of the first decisions of the Modi government was to issue a general approval in July 2014 for creation of a road network by Border Roads Organisation within 100km of aerial distance from the LAC. This general approval ensured that requirements of prior approval from the

Centre

and other bureaucratic processes were done away with,” said an official.

Sources said subsequently, this exemption was extended to all border security related infrastructure such as border outposts, floodlights, fencing, etc and all projects executed by paramilitary organisations under the home ministry.

Government sources said this was in stark contrast to the approach taken by the UPA government where blocking such important infrastructure under various reasons was the norm. “Often the delays were due to flip-flops on environmental clearances,” the source said. Sources said the Modi government delegated powers to the BRO chief, clearing the way for construction of 66 critical roads. Earlier, every approval came to the defence ministry. These powers were subsequently delegated to officers up to chief engineer-level in BRO.

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