As harsh winter sets in eastern Ladakh, this is how Indian Army is preparing thousands of soldiers: In pics

Zee Media Bureau | Nov 18, 2020, 19:51 PM IST
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Indian Army in eastern Ladakh

Indian Army in eastern Ladakh

As the border standoff with China in eastern Ladakh shows no signs of immediate resolution, the Indian Army has created modern habitats with all required facilities for thousands of troops deployed in the high-altitude region which is under the grip of harsh winter. The habitats have been provided with proper heating facilities as the region receives up to 40 feet of snow after November every year while temperatures fall up to minus 40 degree Celsius in the winter months.

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Preparation for soldiers in eastern Ladakh

Preparation for soldiers in eastern Ladakh

Nearly 50,000 troops of the Indian Army are currently deployed in a high state of combat readiness in various mountainous locations in eastern Ladakh in sub-zero conditions as multiple rounds of talks between India and China have not yielded any concrete outcome to resolve the military standoff that erupted in early May. 

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Indian Army prepares soldiers in eastern Ladakh

Indian Army prepares soldiers in eastern Ladakh

In order to ensure operational efficiency of troops deployed in winters, the Indian Army has completed the establishment of habitat facilities for all troops deployed in the sector.

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Indian Army

Indian Army

The biggest challenge in front of the soldiers stationed in eastern Ladakh for more than six months now is to face the fierce winters. The Army started its preparations from July itself. 

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Preparation for soldiers in eastern Ladakh

Preparation for soldiers in eastern Ladakh

The frontline troops are being accommodated in heated tents as per tactical considerations of their deployment. Special clothes and tents have been purchased for the soldiers, which will be comfortable when temperatures below zero to minus 40 degrees. The new facilities for troops include Barrel Type shelters, Fast erectable modular shelters and Vehicle sheds.

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Indian Army prepares soldiers in eastern Ladakh

Indian Army prepares soldiers in eastern Ladakh

In addition, adequate civil infrastructure has also been identified to cater to any emergent requirements.

 

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Indian Army

Indian Army

Heavy snowfall will start after November and there is a possibility of snowfall up to 40 feet. It is physically very difficult for a soldier to stay posted in these areas for such a long time.

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Preparation for soldiers in eastern Ladakh

Preparation for soldiers in eastern Ladakh

As part of a major campaign, rations, kerosene heaters, special clothes, heated tents, medicines as well as smart camps have been made available for the entire winter, with 11000 sets of special clothes recently taken from the US for use by soldiers in extremely cold weather. 

 

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Indian Army prepares soldiers in eastern Ladakh

Indian Army prepares soldiers in eastern Ladakh

The Army said that apart from smart camps with integrated facilities which have been built over the years, additional state-of-the-art habitats with integrated arrangements for electricity, water, heating facilities, health and hygiene have been recently created to accommodate the troops.

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Indian Army

Indian Army

The region sees temperature dipping to minus 30-40 degrees Celsius and experiences up to 40 feet of snowfall after the month of November. In addition, road access to the region also get affected for a brief period of time.

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Preparation for soldiers in eastern Ladakh

Preparation for soldiers in eastern Ladakh

India and China are locked in a military standoff since early May in eastern Ladakh. The armies of India and China have held eight rounds of Corps Commander-level talks so far but no breakthrough has been achieved yet to resolve the standoff.

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Indian Army prepares soldiers in eastern Ladakh

Indian Army prepares soldiers in eastern Ladakh

The last round of military talks was held on November 6 during which both sides broadly discussed disengagement of troops from specific friction points. A joint statement issued after the talks said both sides agreed to maintain dialogue and communication through military and diplomatic channels, and take forward the discussions for the settlement of outstanding issues.

 

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Indian Army

Indian Army

India has all along been maintaining that the onus is on China to carry forward the process of disengagement and de-escalation at the friction points in the mountainous region.

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Preparation for soldiers in eastern Ladakh

Preparation for soldiers in eastern Ladakh

Following the sixth round of military talks, the two sides had announced a slew of decisions including not to send more troops to the frontline, refrain from unilaterally changing the situation on the ground and avoid taking any actions that may further complicate matters.

 

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Indian Army prepares soldiers in eastern Ladakh

Indian Army prepares soldiers in eastern Ladakh

The sixth round was held with a specific agenda of exploring ways to implement a five-point agreement reached between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi at a meeting in Moscow on September 10 on the sidelines of a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation(SCO) conclave.

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Indian Army

Indian Army

The pact included measures like quick disengagement of troops, avoiding action that could escalate tensions, adherence to all agreements and protocols on border management and steps to restore peace along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).