BRO:Bridging gaps, Connecting lives

Border Roads Organisation, also known by its acronym BRO,is a unique combination of officers from the corps of engineers of Indian army and Border Roads Engineering Service (BRES) officers from General Reserve Engineer Force ( GREF ) to maintain roads that serve the borders areas. The BRO contributes to the army's other duties and supplies units that are part of the defence forces. BRO's activities have helped to accelerate the economic development of the North and North Eastern border states. The roads construction teams have to deal with some of the harshest climate in the world. The BRO has some formidable hurdles, the icy Himalayan tops, the marshes of West Bengal, the deserts in Rajasthan. BRO undertakes road constructions and maintenance at high altitude in the hills. Some of the BRO roads are built as high as 5,000 metres above mean sea level.

Embankment Filling Works on SilcharLailapur RoadThe BRO was formed on 7 May 1960 with the Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru as the chairman of the Border Roads Development Board, as an inter-ministerial organisation. BRO is led by the Director General of Border Roads (DGBR), as it Executive Head, who is of the rank of Lieutenant General. The BRO is also provided a General Reserve Engineer Force (GREF), as the execution force under the Ministry of Surface Transport. GREF comprises engineers from civil engineering, electrical & mechanical engineering disciplines from reputed engineering colleges after selection through Union Public Service Commission( UPSC )by clearing Engineering Services Examination at All India Level, administrative officers, supervisors and other trades of personnel. Its operations also run in Bhutan and Myanmar.

The Border Roads Organisation operates a network of over 34,306 km of roads and 16,601 meters of permanent bridges. BRO has operations in twenty-two states including the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a Union Territory.Border Roads Organization (BRO) Signboard: Yumthang Valley, Sikkim.With a humble beginning, with just two Projects – Project Tusker (renamed ProjectVartak ) in the East at Tezpur and Project Beacon in the West at Srinagar, the BRO as a result oriented Organisation, producing quality work, with little time or cost overrun, even in the most adverse conditions of working, grew from strength to strength over the last four decades, to be a vast and vibrant Organisation with thirteen Chief Engineer Projects spread across the length and breath of the country, operating in 22 States including the Andaman & Nicobar Islands Seven Chief Engineer Projects located in the North East, three in J & K, one in Himachal Pradesh / Uttaranchal and the balance in Western and Central India.

Road Projects are also under execution abroad in Bhutan and Myanmar.The works executed by the BRO, in these foreign countries go a long way in strengthening their ties of friendship, trust and co-operation with India..Indian border roads organization worker gestures while drill the mountain to reconstruct the road on Jammu-Srinagar National highway at Panthal 180 KM from the Northern Indian city of Jammu, the winter capital of Kashmir. Thousands of Kashmiri passengers and hundreds of trucks loaded with essential commodities stranded due to the closure of the Jammu-Srinagar National highway about 30 feet road was totally washed away due to landslides and shooting of stones at Penthal.

The BRO has developed a network of over 34306 Kms of roads and 16601 meters of permanent bridges, over the last 4 decades.In fact, the vast hinterland of India is also being opened up to the outside world, thus enhancing the overall socio-economic development of the Border States. The basic unit in the BRO is the functional platoon.This functional platoon comprising of a trade structure to suit its task, executes a specific sequential functional activity like formation cutting, surfacing, construction of cross drainages and various earth retaining structures to ensure adequate road geometric and road safety to the user, permanent bridges and resurfacing required for the execution of a road, airfield or a building project.

The Organisation is fully supported a well established recruiting-cum-training Centre at Pune,two fully equipped Base Workshops for the overhaul of its vast family of plant/equipment costed at approximately Rs.650 Crores and two Engineer Store Depots for inventory management of the spares required for repair and overhaul.A Liaison office has been established at Calcutta, to oversee the smooth flow of major construction stores, to the seven Chief Engineer projects in the North East, as well as bridging equipment for all the Projects, from various nodalcentres of supply in India.

The BRO supported by an Integrated Financial Advisory(IFA) System which came into being in 1995,with the IFA (BR)/ CDA (BR) co-located at Headquarters DGBR.A similar set up was established through the ACDAs/Senior Accounts Officers at the Chief Engineer Project level and Accounts Officers at the Task Force level.

The IFA (BR) had secured the ISO 9002 certification in Dec 1999, for a major activity of processing and sanctioning estimates of work. Possibly, this is the first IFA to secure this recognition.SG # 1165 (1985)Issued in 1985 to mark the 25th Anniversary of the Border Roads Organisation.This has helped to strengthen the image of the BRO.The BRO has also been awarded the ISO 9002 certification, covering the procurement process of plant, vehicles and equipment.