A new motorable road built by the Border Roads Organisation has reduced the duration for moving India troops to Dokala, on the edge of the Doklam plateau near Sikkim where India and China were locked in a 73-day standoff in 2017, a senior official said on Thursday.
The road, previously a mule track, was completed last year and goes from Bheem base to Dokala.
The BRO is planning to construct another motorable road on the Flag Hill-Dokala route by March 2021, the official said.
“Currently, Dokala is connected to India only through ‘Tri junction-Bheem base-Dokala’ route, which was completed in 2018. Therefore, construction on another motorable road from Flag hill has begun,” he said.
These roads are expected to streamline the movement of Indian troops to the sensitive region.
The 33.80-km Flag Hill-Dokala road is currently a foot track, he added.
Around 11 km of the road from Flag Hill has already been constructed and the rest is expected to be complete by March 2021, he said.
The road would be 6-metre wide, out of which 4.5 metre of the width would be covered in asphalt, the official said.
On Tuesday, Indian and Chinese armies held ceremonial Border Personnel Meetings (BPM) at Nathu La, Bum La, Kibithu and eastern Ladakh to celebrate the Chinese national day.
The meetings took place before the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to India.
Xi is likely to visit Mamallapuram near Chennai in the second week of this month for a second informal summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to work out a roadmap for the bilateral ties for the next five years.
The 2017 standoff between India and China in the Doklam had begun after the Chinese army tried to build a road in the area disputed by China and Bhutan and it was resolved diplomatically.