The northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh witnessed a 65 per cent rise in state and national highway construction between 2015-16 and 2022-23. Road construction was completed for 50,555 kilometres in 2022-23 from 30,692 kilometres in 2015-16, which includes 2,506 kilometres of border roads. The Union government allocated ₹4,800 crores to the state, of which ₹2,500 crores were allotted exclusively to developing connectivity between 2022-23 and 2025-26. At present, the biggest portion of the state budget, 12.7 per cent, is allocated for the construction of roads and bridges.
Arunachal’s international border is 1,863 kilometres long, including 1,126 kilometres with China, 217 kilometres with Bhutan, and 520 kilometres with Myanmar. The Indo-China border is 3,488 kilometres long and runs along the borders of Ladakh, Arunachal, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, and Himachal Pradesh. The Centre, state authorities and Border Roads Organisation (BRO) increased the pace of road construction after the face-off with the Chinese PLA in 2020. They intend to begin work on the Indo-China Border Roads (ICBR-III) third phase and have identified new projects for the same. The first two phases were to be executed in the early 2000s but got delayed.
Between 2017 and 2020, India did ‘formation cutting’, involving fresh alignments and earthworks, at a pace of 470 kilometres every year, twice that of the 230 kilometres annually maintained in the decade ending 2017. The India-China Border Roads (ICBR) programme identified 73 roads as strategic Indo-China Border roads (ICBRs), including 61 ICBRs that were entrusted to BRO. 29 such projects were completed while the work on the remaining 32 projects is in progress.