Surajpur: The government is considering a proposal to build 50 more border outposts on the India-China border, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday.
He also said that Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel deployed on the border were being taught the Chinese language during their training to remove communication hurdles during face-offs with the People’s Liberation Army.
“We are committed to enhancing your (ITBP) operational and infrastructure capabilities. Recently, we got a proposal to build 50 new border posts for the force and we are working on it,” the Minister said on the occasion of ITBP’s 56th Raising Day celebrations.
He said the government was considering using technology to ensure that a temperature of at least 20 degrees Celsius was maintained in all high-altitude ITBP posts so that forward border posts were not abandoned during extreme snow and cold.
“We have created a model border post in Ladakh where a temperature of 20 degrees Celsius can be maintained. We will create more such BoPs (Border Outposts) in Sikkim and the eastern sector of this border,” he said.
At present, there are 176 border posts along the winding and disputed India-China border.
He said construction work of 25 border roads in Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand was also going on at a fast pace.
The Minister announced a slew of steps to bolster the capabilities of ITBP, including special lightweight winter clothing for personnel deployed above 9,000 feet and an enhanced fleet of snow scooters to patrol the high-altitude areas on the 3,488 km border.
He said 35 old border posts of ITBP at very high-altitudes were being upgraded as “composite” units and the government was working to enhance road, mobile and satellite connectivity in the border areas for the ITBP.
Rajnath Singh asked the ITBP personnel to maintain good relations with border dwellers as they were “strategic assets” and important stakeholders in keeping the borders safe.
Official sources say the recent standoff with China at Doklam forced the government to consider giving satellite bandwidth to security forces at the border for real time monitoring.
The sources say that several rounds of meetings had taken place in the Home Ministry along with BSF, ITBP, SSB and Isro officials during which it was discussed whether a single satellite would be enough to monitor activities on the borders or if each force needed to be provided a dedicated satellite bandwidth.
The ITBP chief said the Home Ministry had also approved the ITBP’s proposal to hire helicopters for high-altitude border posts and the paramilitary force was also enhancing its intelligence set-up.