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Study needed to find if enemies involved in rise of natural disasters in border states: Rajnath Singh

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Expressing concern over the rising number of natural disasters in some border states and union territories, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Friday said there is a need for a detailed study to find out if India’s adversaries are behind it.

Climate change is no longer just a weather-related phenomenon but is also linked to national security, he said.

He was addressing a gathering in the Dhak village near Joshimath after inaugurating a bridge and 34 other border area infrastructure projects implemented by the Border Roads Organisation at Rs 670 crore for different states.

“The frequency of natural disasters has risen in some states and union territories like Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Ladakh. Experts believe it is linked with climate change. But I think a study needs to be conducted to find if there is also a role of our adversaries in it,” Singh said, without naming any country.

The rise in the frequency of natural disasters in these states and union territories has been taken seriously by the defence ministry, he said.

“We feel the subject deserves a detailed study for which the help of friendly countries can also be taken if needed,” he said.He said the Modi government’s approach to the development of border area infrastructure is different from the approach of previous governments.”We do not treat border areas as buffer zones. For us they are part of our mainstream. We want to go in our development journey from the seas to the borders. That is why we are creating world class infrastructure also in our border areas,” he said.

He said the BRO has played an extraordinary role in this in recent years.

He also showered praise on the women personnel of the BRO in the successful rescue of the trapped workers at the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi district by preparing a 1.5 km track up a hill slope in difficult terrain.

The 35 projects inaugurated on Friday include 29 bridges, and six roads for Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh.

Out of the 29 bridges, 10 are located in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, eight in Arunachal Pradesh, six in Ladakh, three in Uttarakhand, one in Himachal Pradesh and one in Mizoram.

Out of the six roads three are in Ladakh, two in Sikkim and one is located in J and K.

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