New Delhi: Indian Army jawans will have
to wait for superior quality sports shoes as the project to
procure these footwear has been put on hold after a protest
over the use of cow leather to produce them.
The sports shoes were to be issued free of cost to all
Junior Commissioned Officers and Personnel Below Officer Ranks
(PBOR) in the next few years, replacing the old brown canvass
PT shoes given to them presently, Army sources said here.
"The project has been put on hold after protests were
registered with the Defence Ministry by some animal rights
activists over the use of cow leather to produce the shoes in
large numbers," they said.
Sources said earlier specifications for procurement
said the shoes had to be made of either leather, canvass or
cloth but it was amended by the Master General Ordnance (MGO)
branch, which included cow leather also in it.
"We had carried out a feasibility study and found that
shoes made of cow leather would have lasted longer and they
were found to be fit for use by our soldiers," the MGO said.
The Army had started the process of issuing better
quality sports shoes to replace the basic brown canvas PT
shoes provided to jawans in 2008.
Trials were also carried out and some of the companies
were also shortlisted for the possible award of the tender for
over eight lakh shoes.