DRDO has proposed setting up of 2 missile test ranges: govt

DRDO has proposed setting up of two Missile Test Ranges in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Andhra Pradesh and requests for diversion of forest land have been made, the government said today.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has proposed establishment of the test ranges at Rutland Islands of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Nagayalanka in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh.

"A proposal for diversion of forest land in Andaman and Nicobar Islands has been initiated by DRDO. A request has also been made to the Government of Andhra Pradesh to spare unassigned revenue land and reserve forest land at Nagayalanka," Defence Minister A K Antony told Rajya Sabha in a written reply.

On why the government is delaying the decision on this strategically important requirement, he said, "Both the projects for setting up of Missile Test Ranges are at the initial planning stages and land acquisition process is on."

The Defence Minister said that the projects would be sanctioned after the proposals are cleared by the Environment and Forest Ministry and revenue authorities.

In reply to a question on construction of strategic rail and road networks along the Line of Control (LoC), Antony said, "73 roads have been identified as strategic border roads, out of which 61 roads have been entrusted to Border Roads Organisation (BRO) with a total length of 3404.63 km."

17 of these roads covering a length of 612.51 km have been completed while 25 are scheduled for completion by 2013.

Rest 19 roads will be completed by 2016, he said.

Antony also informed the House that 13 new railway line projects covering a length of 965 km are also under various stages of progress in North-East region, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand.

Replying to a question on upgradation of ordnance factories, the Defence Minister said that an investment of Rs 15,764 crore has been planned during 12th Five Year Plan.

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