The Border Security Force (BSF) has got the requisite approvals for laying a wooden strip at the Attari-Wagah border, which would come as a welcome relief to its jawans who resort to stomping of feet at the daily retreat ceremony that undoubtedly whips up patriotic fevour in thousands of countrymen who converge there daily to witness the impressive ceremony.
The BSF had come up with the plan to lay the wooden strip after complaints that the BSF jawans, six feet tall and decked out in all finery, have begun to face medical problems with their joints in the lower limbs as well as back due to stomping resorted to outshine the Pakistani Rangers during the evening retreat ceremony.
The BSF had forwarded the proposal to its headquarters for installing wooden planks at 'key areas' where jawans stamped their feet quite forcefully. Once the wooden planks are laid, they would be coated with rubber paint to merge it in the surrounding concrete road.
BSF Punjab Frontier IG Aditya Mishra said, "We have received approvals from both our headquarters as well as the National Highway Authority of India. Tendering has also been done and if all goes well, work is likely to start in the next 15 days."
The IG said that 4-5 key 'stomping-heavy' areas had been identified where jawans stomped with force on the concrete road which affected them badly. "We will take out concrete from these areas and lay wooden planks. On the top of these wooden surfaces, we will apply black rubber paint so that they look no different from the surrounding bitumen road," added Mishra.
He pointed out that the wood would not in any way affect the thud sound, which is the main attraction for the public at the retreat ceremony.
A couple of years ago, the BSF had planned to lay rubber-like strip in the entire area where jawans participated in the retreat ceremony. However, the plan was shelved after it was pointed out that putting rubber would take away the sound effect.