Updated on 04 July 2012
Chetak is a unique Project in many ways. It has the distinction of serving three comd theatres i.e., Western, South Western and Southern. At present its jurisdiction is spread over three states viz Rajasthan, Punjab and a part of Gujarat. Chetak is the only Project which was raised in one state viz, in the Garhwal Himalayas of UP (now Uttrakhand) and was reborn years later in another state i.e., Rajasthan, the land of great Rana Pratap after whose legendary steed CHETAK, the Project has been named.
Immediately after signing of the historic Panchsheel agreement in 1955, the Chinese intrusion across the Nite Pass and Shipki Pass in Barahooti area of UP Himalayas, escalated the tension along the Indo-China border which necessitated the need for creating an alternate route for logistic supports in the sector. Project Chetak was thus raised in Jun 1962 for construction of the Joshimath-Malari-Rinkin Road. During the Chinese aggression in Oct-Nov 1962, Project Chetak provided support to the Army by providing communication on the Rishikesh-Joshimath axis. This arduous task and urgency of construction took a heavy toll in terms of human life. The famous pilgrimage route from Rishikesh to Badrinath was developed by the Project and inaugurated by Shri YB Chavan the Defence Minister, in Jun 1965. The Tanakpur-Tawaghad road was opened in 1966 which facilitated pilgrims to visit the Mount Kailash and Holy lake of Mansarovar in Tibet. The Project was disbanded in Dec 1966 after successful completion of the assigned tasks.
In the wake of 1971 Indo- Pak conflict and also to relieve Project Deepak of its strenuous responsibilities, Project Chetak was re- raised in Apr 1980 with its Headquarters at Bikaner for expanding and improving the road networks and Ditch Cum Bunds in the state of Rajasthan and Punjab. Col (later retd as Brig) BC Pathak was the first CE of the Project.
Climate and Environment
The AOR of Project Chetak has a unique characteristic typical of desert, with temperature rising above 50 degree Celsius during summer and dropping down to sub zero in winter. Intense sand storms are a frequent phenomenon during summers which brings the visibility down to nearly zero. The area of Jaisalmer (largest district of the country) and Barmer are sparsely populated but attract a very large tourist influx during winters. In this vast barren desert, the main occupation of the locals is rearing of cows, goats and sheep that survive on shrub. Sriganganagar and Bikaner Districts have become green after the construction of the India Gandhi Canal, which runs almost parallel to the International Border. Progressively, more areas are getting greener in Rajasthan. The vagaries of extreme climate accompanied by sand storms, shifting sand dunes, scarcity of water and other local resources makes the working environment extremely tough. Many of the roads under the Project pass through the Thar Desert in Rajasthan. The challenging experience of working in the Desert leaves a lifelong imprint of a deep sense of professional satisfaction.
It has always been our endeavor to surge ahead with renewed vigor and accomplish the task with pride and perfection. At present the Project is engaged in construction and maintenance of over 4500 Kms of roads, besides 240 Kms of strategically vital DCB. The Project has completed many prestigious and important works for various agencies in the laid down time frame achieving a high degree of user satisfaction. Some major works executed by the Project are :-
(a) Four laning of NH 4B and Container Yard Area for Jawahar Lal Nehru Port Trust (Navi Mumbai).
(b) Resurfacing of Pune Air Field and Naval Air Field, Goa.
(c) Eighteen KMs of Four lane Highway NH 17-B for the Marmugao Port Trust.
(d) Gurdaspur, Batala and Patiala byepass in Punjab and Jodhpur byepass in Rajasthan.
(e) 60 Mtrs span bridge on Sakhi Nallah and 49 Mtrs span bridge on Gandha Nallah on road Ajnala - Lopoke-Sohal.
(f) Rehabilitation of bridge on road Suratgarh - Anupgarh.
(g) Construction of composite Aviation Base at Hatma
(h) 115 M span bridge over the twin canals at Hussainiwala