As the army prepares for the summer at Simmering LAC, India plans a long-term infrared pulse in eastern Ladakh, NE

Bearing in mind the slow progress in resolving the ongoing military standoff with China in eastern Ladakh, the Indian army is working on a long-term plan for infrastructure development which includes the development of a route “very close” to the entire line of Actual Control (LAC), News18 has learned.

The development of this route, senior government sources told News18, will involve widening, improving and connecting existing roads along the LAC by filling gaps in places with new construction. The project, they said, would be long term with this road, cutting through the mountains and running northwest to southeast parallel to the LAC and providing connectivity between eastern Ladakh and the northeast.

Securing the future

Sources said the ambitious proposal, which is at a conceptual stage, is part of long-term plans to strengthen border infrastructure that can be used by civilians and speed up the mobilization of troops when needed.

“The plan would include the identification of additional deployment areas for the positioning of acclimatized troops for faster induction, the construction of firing ranges for artillery equipment, and the dual purpose tunnels needed to keep roads open to the strongest of winters,” a government source said. “The creation of concrete underground shelters and the construction of water supply and storage facilities are also part of the plans.”

Much of these plans were discussed at a series of meetings held at the army’s central command headquarters in Lucknow last month on the army’s operational readiness along the western and northern borders. Different operational scenarios were analyzed in a war game during the event.

The discussions were chaired by the Chief General of the Army MM Naravane in the presence of senior officers from the three defense services. According to the army, General Naravane also reviewed the deployment of the force’s formations on the western and northern borders as they shift to a summer posture.

According to the sources, the construction of additional helipads for inter-valley movement and the establishment of adequate communication network architecture, including the laying of fiber optic cables closer to the LAC and the erection of towers Additional civilian mobiles are also being discussed as part of infrastructure development. plans.

Increased use of local resources to include vehicle repair and salvage, handing over some construction work to Military Engineering Services (MES) – which would engage local labour, thereby boosting employment in border areas – is also under discussion.

With the approach of summer, which comes with a work window limited to a few months, the focus would be on getting work started on some of the major construction planned as soon as possible, the sources said.

The army will continue to hold the LAC, the attack corps in play

With a status quo at the Line of Actual Control currently after 15 rounds of military talks, the Army, as part of its summer strategy, will continue to maintain existing posts along the LAC and ensure reserves are deployed. nearby in case of emergency.

A full disengagement remains pending at the Hot Springs sticking point. Chinese troops continue to block Indian patrols in the Depsang and Demchok plains, issues that predate April 2020.

According to the sources, elements of one of the army’s strike corps continue to be located in eastern Ladakh on a rotational basis. The Indian Army has four strike corps – including I Corps based at Mathura, II Corps located at Ambala, XXI Corps based at Bhopal and XVII Mountain Strike Corps located at Panagarh, all intended for cross-border offensive actions against the ‘enemy. . Two of them now face China.

More than three divisions of troops have been pushed into eastern Ladakh over the past two years for any counter-offensive that might have been needed in an emergency.

A second source said the Chinese usually prepare for slow negotiations that can last months or years.

“Any de-escalation at LAC will take time, but from now on confidence-building measures will continue to ensure there is no escalation,” the source said.

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Michael J. Chiaramonte