In a bid to provide better working conditions to soldiers guarding the border at high altitudes where the temperature drops to minus 45 degree, Centre’s plan has laid its first stone by installing first state-of-the-art composite border outpost (BoP) for ITBP jawans in Ladakh.
In a first of its kind, eco-friendly BoP are being constructed at a forward location near the China border at a height of 15,000 feet, which comprise of central heating, roofs covered with solar panels, toilets with running hot water, recreation rooms. These BoP will maintain the inside temperature at 20-22 degree celsius and is being built at a cost of Rs 17 crore in Lukung Valley. The ITBP plans to construct 50 such BoPs in the region, where temperatures usually hit minus 40 degree celsius.
“The work on the first BoP has started. It should be completed by May next year and our jawans can use it from next winter,” said ITBP chief Krishna Chaudhary in a conversation with TOI.
Such a facility was never available to soldiers posted at high altitudes. The funds for this was sanctioned after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh saw the condition in which soldiers were living in when he visited ITBP’s forward location last year on the India-China border.
The entire BoP project will cost the governemnt between Rs 700-800 crore. Designed by IIT-Delhi and IIT-Roorkee, these BoPs will have room for 100 jawans, mess, toilets, medical roo, office of senior officers, armoury etc. The ITBP recently gave high-end SUVs like Toyota Fortuner and Mahindra Scorpio to its jawans in the region.
As per the officials, once the old BoPs in Leh-Ladakh region are converted into composite BoPs, there is a possibility that 27 such outposts in Arunachal Pradesh will also be upgraded. “These two sides on the border are freezing for seven to eight months. While Chinese troops work in good conditions with all facilities, ITBP jawans had to use conventional ways to keep themselves warm. It’s a good sign that the government had finally woken up to the needs of jawans who secure the country,” a senior central paramilitary officer said.