- Central government will build 96 more ITBP border outposts along the 3,488 km long India-China border
- The new posts will also help reduce the time taken by the troops to travel on this arduous terrain
- With this, ITBP will now have total 272 BoPs on India-China border
Segregating its attempts to have friendly relations with China from the security strategy, the Narendra Modi government will build a whopping 96 more Indo-Tibet Border Police (ITBP) border outposts (BoPs) along the 3,488 km long India-China border.
Having 96 more BoPs will reduce the inter-BoP distance on this icy frontier which will enhance the operational capabilities of jawans and will prove to be a deterrent to frequent Chinese transgressions and incursions into Indian territory.
The new posts will also help reduce the time taken by the troops to travel on this arduous terrain, help in supplies of rations to the posts located at the altitude of 12,000 to 18,000 feet and also help in keeping a close watch over the Chinese army build-up in a tense situation.
Top sources confirmed to TOI that the ministry of home affairs is already discussing the matter with the ministries of external affairs and defence and the new BoPs are likely to be given approval soon.
“This is part of India’s internal security policy and it doesn’t mean that we want some kind of confrontation with China. The plans to increase the number of BoPs have been discussed for years and it’s a routine process,” said a home ministry official.
With this, ITBP will now have total 272 BoPs on India-China border. Till now, the force has 176 BoPs on the India-China border.
Officials added that ITBP will raise nine more battalions (around 9,000 men) for its new outposts, likely to be constructed in a couple of years, for which a proposal is already pending.
The development comes even as government is making other efforts to provide a comfortable working environment to the troops at high altitudes.
The MHA recently approved that ITBP will have 54 temperature controlled integrated BoPs. “It will take some time but we are making efforts that over the years, most of the ITBP posts where temperature goes down to minus 40-50 degrees should have temperature control facility,” said the MHA official.
The first temperature controlled integrated BoP in Ladakh is in its final stages and would be made operational very soon, said sources.
Home minister Rajnath Singh had last year announced that 25 border roads will be constructed in Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh; and special lightweight winter clothing and enhanced fleet of snow scooters will be provided to troops deployed above 9,000 feet.
The government, as first reported by TOI in January this year, also recently gave permission to ITBP to procure two twin-engined helicopters primarily to carry out reconnaissance so that transgressions by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), troop build-up and construction activities across the border can be spotted in time.
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