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A month after a tense Doklam stand-off with China, the Indian Army 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 Bipin Rawat. 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 Nirmala Sitharaman - who herself visited the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet 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 Indian Army during incidents like the Doklam standoff, response to natural disasters and keeping the north-east insurgency fairly under control.
China has built an extensive network for the movement of troops and weapon system in the entire Tibet 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.