JAMMU, July 21: In another attempt to match the strength of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the Union Home Ministry has dispatched 29 next generation High Powered Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China in five States, the highest number being 10 in Eastern Ladakh sector.
The vehicles, which were likely to reach Eastern Ladakh in the next couple of days after being dispatched from New Delhi yesterday by the Home Ministry, will be kept at the disposal of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), which mans the un-demarcated LAC between India and China.
Official sources told the Excelsior that the new SUVs have been designed by a private company in such a manner that they would be able to trek the rugged mountains of Ladakh, where there were no roads and other infrastructure, and transport the ITBP personnel as well as their material like weaponry, right up to their posts.
Presently, the ITBP personnel had to trek themselves or use ponies and pithoos to carry their essential supplies at the posts, located in high altitudes of Eastern Ladakh ranging from the height of 9000 feet to 18,700 feet from the sea level. Though not all, but these SUVs were capable of reaching majority of posts of the ITBP, located along LAC in Eastern Ladakh sector.
“The deployment of SUVs in Eastern Ladakh was part of the Centre Government’s plan to match strength of the PLA, which presently has upper hand over India in manpower, roads and other infrastructure on their side of the LAC opposite Eastern Ladakh,” sources said.
Out of 29 SUVs dispatched yesterday from New Delhi, the highest number of 10 has been given to ITBP in Ladakh sector followed by six each to Himachal Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh, five to Uttarakhand and two to Sikkim. Only these five States have LAC with China, which hasn’t been demarcated that often leads to boundary disputes between the two neighbouring countries.
A total of 59 high powered SUVs have been approved for the ITBP deployed along China border. The 29 vehicles were part of the first consignment while rest 30 would come in the next round and will be distributed among the ITBP in five States.
The deployment of SUVs comes close on the heels of reports that India has already stationed 100 tanks and other modernized gadgetry in Ladakh sector to match strength of the Chinese Army. During past couple of years, the Centre has initiated series of measures to strengthen the Indian Army and ITBP deployed along LAC in Ladakh sector. The Government has initiated more steps to match infrastructure raised by China over the years on their side of the LAC.
“ITBP is deployed on tough terrains and adverse climatic conditions on mountainous Sino-Indian border in all five States including Eastern Ladakh. These vehicles will improve the response time and efficiency of the ITBP in many ways,” sources said.
The ITBP has been manning the Indo-China LAC in all five States in rugged mountains where the height ranged between 9000 feet to 18,700 feet from the sea level and at various places its jawans had to trek several kilometers to reach to their posts along with weaponry and other essential supplies.
According to sources, the new kind of SUVs have been made to trek in the rugged mountains after several months’ study on the terrain, where ITBP has been deployed along the LAC with China and these vehicles will be able to reach up to majority posts of the para-military troops in Ladakh and other sectors along China in five Indian States.