The government plans to halve the time Indo-Tibetan border Police (ITBP) personnel spend in difficult conditions at high-altitude posts.
“I wish to assure you to that the goal is to bring down the average posting at one of these outposts to not more than three months in order to provide relief to ITBP jawans and boost their morale,” home minister P Chidambaram said at the ITBP’s Raising Day parade.
This will be possible as an additional 31,000 personnel are set to join the force soon, he said.
ITBP personnel usually spend more than six months at heights ranging up to 18,000 ft. Chidambaram said the government had also sanctioned special allowance at par with the army for ITBP personnel posted at high altitude. The special high altitude allowance, which will vary depending on post and designation, will cover 43 border outposts.
The government has also sanctioned the construction of 27 roads for ITBP to make movement to border posts easier, he said.
Praising the courage and determination of the personnel, Chidambaram said the jawans will soon be allowed to use porters and animal transport for their movement in high altitude border posts.
At present, the jawans have to carry heavy loads themselves during movement in extremely low temperatures and avalanche-prone terrain.
The force, set up in 1962 in the wake of war with China, guards the 3,488-km long India-China border from Karakoram pass in Ladakh region to Jechap La in Arunachal Pradesh.
“The jawans maintain vigil on the India-China border through forward posts situated at heights between 9,000 to 18,700 ft where temperature drops to minus 50 degree Celsius during winter,” said ITBP director general Ranjit Sinha.
He said the ITBP is seen as a champion in the fields of mountaineering, skiing and river-rafting.