Personnel at lower hills to get uniforms

More than 15,000 personnel of the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) force deployed along the China border are set to benefit from a policy decision on altitude specifications that makes them eligible to get special cold climate clothing.

Earlier only those ITBP men deployed at an altitude of upto 12,000 feet from the sea level were entitled for a special protective clothing. However, last year, the guidelines were revised and personnel deployed at 9,000 feet also became eligible for the uniforms to get the special clothing, a senior government official said.

Rugged pockets

The ITBP is deployed along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China, spanning 3,488 kms of difficult terrain up to at an altitude of 18,900 feet. There are five pockets — three in Ladakh and one each in Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh, that are claimed by both the countries.

The ITBP force comprises 60,000 personnel now.

Of this, around 12,000 personnel deployed in Ladakh were entitled to snow clothing. “The new policy ensures that even those deployed at an altitude of 9,000 feet, that includes the States of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, would benefit. As many as 15,000 jawans will get the protective gears,” the official said.

The personnel have also been provided with high-grade mountaineering equipment.

An official said that in the past five years, the ITBP has procured around 600 ‘Made in India’ Ghatak 7.62 assault rifles, 55 high powered vehicles and 126 SUVs for smooth travel in the rugged terrain in the Ladakh sector.

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