Shekatkar Committee for Border Infrastructure

Shekatkar Committee for Border Infrastructure

Government has accepted and implemented three important recommendations of Committee of Experts (CoE) under the Chairmanship of Lt General D B Shekatkar (Retd) relating to border Infrastructure.

Shekatkar Committee for Border Infrastructure

Source | Press Information Bureau


GS Paper III: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways, etc.

Context: Government has accepted and implemented three important recommendations of Committee of Experts (CoE) under the Chairmanship of Lt General D B Shekatkar (Retd) relating to border Infrastructure.

  • These were related to speeding up road construction, leading to socio-economic development in the border areas.
Shekatkar Committee for Border Infrastructure


Read More: Defence Testing Infrastructure Scheme (DTIS)


What you need to know about Shekatkar Committee?

  • The military reforms committee – under Lt General (retd.) DB Shekatkar – or otherwise known as Shekatkar Committee, was set up by then Raksha Mantri Manohar Parrikar in 2015.
  • The committee was established with a mandate for Enhancing Combat Capability and Rebalancing Defence Expenditure.
  • Shekatkar Committee had made recommendations on enhancing the combat potential of India’s three armed forces, rationalizing the defence budget etc.
  • The committee submitted its report on December 21, 2016. It had apparently exceeded its brief with some 200 recommendations.
  • A major recommendation is that the defence budget should be 2.5% to 3% of the GDP.
  • The report, which is now the guiding principle for ongoing defence reforms, has never been made public, because it covers operational aspects of the armed forces, and its disclosure is not in the interests of national security.

Also Read: National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) | Explained


What were the key recommendations of the Shekatkar Committee?

Some of the key recommendations taken include:

  • Optimization of Signals Establishments to include Radio Monitoring Companies, Corps Air Support Signal Regiments, Air Formation Signal Regiments, Composite Signal Regiments and merger of Corps Operating and Engineering Signal Regiments.
  • Restructuring of repair echelons in the Army to include Base Workshops, Advance Base Workshops and Static / Station Workshops in the field Army.
  • Redeployment of Ordnance echelons to include Vehicle Depots, Ordnance Depots and Central Ordnance Depots apart from streamlining inventory control mechanisms.
  • Better utilization of Supply and Transportation echelons and Animal Transport Units.
  • Closure of Military Farms and Army Postal Establishments in peace locations.
  • Enhancement in standards for recruitment of clerical staff and drivers in the Army.
  • Improving the efficiency of the National Cadet Corps.

Recommendations on border infrastructure

  • On the matter related to creating border infrastructure, the Government has implemented the recommendation of CoE to outsource road construction work beyond the optimal capacity of Border Roads Organisation (BRO).
  • These were related to speeding up road construction, leading to socio-economic development in the border areas.
  • The other recommendation relating to the introduction of modern construction plants, equipment and machinery has been implemented.


Also Read: FDI IN DEFENCE PRODUCTS


What are the recommendations accepted by the Government now?

Outsourcing of Road Construction work

  • The Government has implemented recommendation of committee to outsource road construction work beyond optimal capacity of Border Roads Organisation (BRO).
    • It has been made mandatory to adopt Engineering Procurement Contract (EPC) mode for execution of all works costing more than Rs 100 crore.

Introduction of modern machinery

  • The recommendation relating to introduction of modern construction plants, equipment and machinery has been implemented by delegating enhanced procurement powers from Rs 7.5 crore to Rs 100 crore to BRO, for domestic and foreign procurements.
    • New Technology like blasting technology for precision blasting, use of Geo-Textiles for soil stabilisation, cementitious base for pavements, plastic coated aggregates for surfacing, is also being used to enhance the pace of construction.

Prior clearances before the commencement of the project

  • The land acquisition and all statutory clearances like forest and environmental clearance are also made part of approval of Detailed Project Report (DPR).
  • Further, with the adoption of EPC mode of execution, it is mandatory to award work only when 90 per cent of the statutory clearances have been obtained, implementing the recommendation of CoE regarding obtaining prior clearances before the commencement of the project.


Read More: Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank offers loan to India


PRELIMS Background Bites


What you need to know about Border Road Organization (BRO)?

  • The BRO develops and maintains road networks in India’s border areas and friendly neighboring countries and functions under the Ministry of Defence. Earlier it received funds from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
  • It is entrusted for construction of Roads, Bridges, Tunnels, Causeways, Helipads and Airfields along the borders.
  • Officers from the Border Roads Engineering Service (BRES) and personnel from the General Reserve Engineer Force (GREF) form the parent cadre of the Border Roads Organisation.
  • It is also staffed by officers and troops drawn from the Indian Army’s Corps of Engineers on extra regimental employment.
  • The BRO operates and maintains over 32,885 kilometers of roads and about 12,200 meters of permanent bridges in the country.
  • The organisation’s operations are spread across India, Bhutan, Myanmar, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan.

Role of the BRO

During Peace
  • Develop & Maintain the Operational Road Infrastructure of General Staff (GS) in the Border Areas.
  • Contribute to the Socio-Economic Development of the Border States.
During War
  • Develop & Maintain Roads to Keep Line of Control through in Original Sectors and Re-deployed Sectors.
  • Execute Additional Tasks as laid down by the Govt Contributing to the War Effort.

Subscribe to our newsletter!


INDIATHINKERS is now on TELEGRAM as ExamGuideUpsc. Join our Channel to get the latest posts updates and other important quiz and pdf materials.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email