Five years after trial, cooling vests still elude BSF jawans
The trial showed that the jackets, designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) laboratory at Jodhpur, would help jawans beat the extreme summer temperatures, officials saidjaipur Updated: Apr 09, 2017 20:34 IST
Border Security Force (BSF) jawans guarding the western border are yet to get cooling vests after five years of their successful user trial.
The trial showed that the jackets, designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) laboratory at Jodhpur, would help jawans beat the extreme summer temperatures, officials said.
The temperature at the western border with Pakistan now hovers between 45 and 50 degrees Celsius. During the mid-summer, mercury breaches 50-degree mark in the deserts.
“The BSF had approved of the use of jackets after the trial. We were assured that jackets would be available soon, but we are still waiting for the supply,” said a BSF official on the condition of anonymity. “We do not have information about when the jackets will be available for the jawans.”
The jacket was designed with 12 pockets on front and back to carry phase change material (PCM) that helps in keeping the body cool for four hours. “After four hours, the material requires recharge. The cool vest can reduce the temperature to 20 degrees,” the official said.
“The weight of a cooling jacket is approximately 2 kg and it is easy to wear. Its approximate cost is ₹2,000.”
Apart from working in high temperatures, jawans face drinking water crisis. “BSF authorities have started providing lemon water, buttermilk and curd for the relief of jawans; sun glasses are provided to protect their eyes,” an official said.