Poor quality socks for Siachen soldiers to fight freezing cold | india | Hindustan Times
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Poor quality socks for Siachen soldiers to fight freezing cold

Soldiers at Siachen glacier, the highest battle ground of the world, shiver, suffer frostbites which sometimes prove fatal, as their poor quality socks fail to protect them from freezing temperatures of minus 40 degree Celsius.

india Updated: Dec 01, 2010 20:39 IST
Arun Joshi

Soldiers at Siachen glacier, the highest battle ground of the world, shiver, suffer frostbites which sometimes prove fatal, as their poor quality socks fail to protect them from freezing temperatures of minus 40 degree Celsius.

A persistent demand by the soldiers for quality socks to help them withstand the freezing temperature have gone unheeded, sources in the army said.

There are nearly 4,000 soldiers deployed across the 72 sq. km Siachen glacier and they have repeatedly sent reminders to the army headquarters as also to the ministry of defence for quality socks, but all in vain.

The latest plea was made by the soldiers in June this year when Defence Minister AK Antony had visited the base camp of Siachen glacier. He had assured them that the soldiers deployed at high altitudes will be provided with quality socks, the sources told Hindustan Times.

But nothing has happened so far, the sources added.

They have also been not provided with adequate number of snow mobiles that move on all sorts of terrain, including deep snow.

At Siachen glacier more soldiers die of freezing temperature, frostbites and by falling into crevices than by bullets. However, the guns have fallen silent on the glacier following the November 26th, 2003 ceasefire between Indian and Pakistani armies.

More than 200 soldiers have died in the past seven years despite the fact that not even a single bullet was fired at the glacier, the sources said.