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Post Doklam standoff, Army wants upgraded infrastructure along LAC

As part of all the larger plan for capability enhancement along the borders in Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, this step will be considered

BS Web Team 

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Chief of the Army Staff General Bipin Rawat with the troops at one of the forward area posts in Jammu and Kashmir. | PTI Photo/ Twitter
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Chief of the Army Staff General Bipin Rawat with the troops at one of the forward area posts in Jammu and Kashmir. | PTI Photo/ Twitter

A month after a tense Doklam stand-off with China, the is now pushing for advance infrastructure along the borders in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, as part of the overall plan for "capability enhancement" along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The 73-day-long stand-off with China was one of the important issues on the agenda of the ongoing Army Commanders' Conference, chaired by Army Chief General The situation at the western border along with Pakistan, synergy and operational readiness of the Army will also be discussed.

Other issues such as speeding up procurement, pace of modernisation in the Army, pushing Make in India programme and indigenous procurement, as well as issues related to the 7th Pay Commission are also likely to figure in the discussions.
The Defence Minister - who herself visited the Sikkim-Bhutan-trijunction last Saturday, called her visits to the forward areas and meeting with troops as “eye-opening”. Read more

Assuring of a focus on capacity and capability development, Sitharaman also promised close monitoring of improvement in strategic infrastructure. 

Sources have said that the strong and advanced infrastructure includes full road connectivity to the Niti, Lipulekh, Thangla-1 and Tsang-Chokla in Uttarakhand by 2020 and links to three more passes in the region, Times of India reported.

According to the reports, there is also a proposal for “better command-and control” of Army battlions and units spreading from the Karakoram Pass to Lipulekh by integrating them under one corps, with three divisions (15,000 soldiers each) under it, as well as improved inter-sector connectivity through lateral road links.

In her 30-minute address, she conveyed the admiration of the nation for the professionalism of the during incidents like the Doklam standoff, response to natural disasters and keeping the north-east insurgency fairly under control.

Last month, General Rawat had said that the country should be prepared for a two-front war, insisting China has started “flexing its muscles”, while there seems to be no scope for reconciliation with Pakistan whose military and polity saw an adversary in India. 

China has built an extensive network for the movement of troops and weapon system in the entire Autonomous Region (TAR), where it has also built railway lines, highways, metal-top roads, air bases, radars etc. India and China have been exchanging maps of their “claimed lines” around 17 years ago. Read more

People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has already connected four passes, with its road-heads to another seven-eight passes being less than 5-km, according to a report published in TOI.

India is yet to catch up with them, however. Out of the total 73 (4,643 kilometres) “strategic all-weather roads” only 27 of them (963-km) have been identified for construction along the LAC and have been completed till now.

First Published: Wed, October 11 2017. 16:47 IST