The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel, deployed at higher altitudes, face greater risk to their health due to low oxygen-level conditions there, as compared to soldiers in other forces, ITBP Director General Ranjit Kumar Bhatia has said.
"Most of the posts in Sino-Indian border are above 9000 ft. The highest post is at 18,000 ft. The high altitude poses risk of ailments caused due to less oxygen in these places," Bhatia said here last evening.
"The percentage of jawans declared less fit in ITBP is 5.7 which stands at 2.9 in other forces," he said.
"Another concern has been malaria. We are using mosquito nets treated with chemicals and clothing having repellents," the DG said.
He said considering the adversaries at posts located at high altitude and thick forests, men are deployed there for two years and on rotation.
Once declared less fit, a jawan is deployed either in headquarters or other plain areas, he said.
On the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in ITBP, Bhatia said, "The incidence is much less."
Apart from guarding Indo-China border, five battalions of ITBP have been engaged in anti-Maoist operations in Chhattisgarh and two in National Disaster Response Force.
ITBP took over the charge of surveillance of Indo-China border in Arunachal Pradesh from Assam Rifles in 2005 and has been working with Army there.