NEW DELHI: The
Indian armed forces
since the de-escalation process with China is likely to be a long-drawn affair, the
’s military brass has told a
Sources said top military officers, led by chief of defence staff General Bipin Rawat, told the public accounts committee (PAC) that necessary steps have been taken for deployment of soldiers in the harsh winter in the high-altitude region. The armed forces are ready for any contingency, they said.
The CAG audit report on the state of clothing, rations and accommodation for soldiers deployed in the
region was the main agenda of the PAC meeting held on Monday, but a question was also asked on the ongoing military confrontation with China in eastern Ladakh, said sources.
As was reported earlier by TOI, several rounds of military and diplomatic talks have not yet led to any breakthrough in the stalled troop disengagement in Pangong Tso and Gogra areas of eastern Ladakh, while the deadlock over the rival military build-ups also persists in the strategically-located Depsang Plains.
The latest round of major general-level talks on the Depsang-Daulat Beg Oldie sector, where the People’s Liberation Army has deployed over 12,000 troops, tanks and artillery guns, also ended in a stalemate on Saturday.
India, too, has deployed additional brigades (each has around 3,000 troops) and T-90S main battle tank regiments in the Depsang plateau, which is located at an altitude of 16,000-feet and provides access to the DBO advance landing ground and the critical Karakoram Pass in the north.
The Army has simultaneously undertaken a massive “advance winter stocking” for rations and other essential supplies for its well over 30,000 forward deployed troops in eastern Ladakh alone.
The construction of insulated habitats for the troops, including pre-fabricated huts, arctic tents and large containers, is also now under way, while additional supplies of winter clothing and gear has also been ordered from domestic and foreign manufacturers.
This has become necessary because with even the proposed troop disengagement process yet to fully take place at two of the four immediate face-off sites, the de-escalation and de-induction of troops from other sectors is simply not on the cards as of now.