In Delhi, army mess lounge named after longest-serving mule ‘Pedongi’
Recognising the contribution of animals in military service, the army has named a swanky officers’ mess lounge in Delhi cantonment after the force’s longest-serving mule.
The new lounge at the Central Army Service Corps (ASC) officers’ mess on Polo Road has been christened ‘Pedongi’ to honour the services of the mule who carried military loads for over 30 years.
It’s rare for mules to be given names, a privilege reserved for horses. Named after Pedong town in Sikkim, Pedongi joined the army in 1962 and died in 1998.
Usually, mules serve the army for 18-20 years. Accounting for 6,000 to 8,000 mules, the army’s animal transport (AT) units are assigned the responsibility of supporting some of its remote outposts located at heights of up to 19,000 feet.
The army is working on a proposal to deploy all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) in mountainous areas to ferry weapons, ammunition and stores. It is also exploring the possibility of using drones to support its high-altitude deployments.
“AT is a fading story in the army with technology providing options to replace animals. We thought it would be a fitting tribute to Pedongi, who also finds place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest serving military mule,” said Lieutenant General BS Sandhu, who retired as director general of supplies and transport on April 30.
A few defence experts, however, maintained that the AT units cannot be completely done away with.
“Technology has its limitations. There’s no way AT units can be completely disbanded, given the kind of terrain where our army is deployed,” said Lieutenant General SPS Katewa, who retired as the Commandant of the ASC Centre and College in Bengaluru.
Mules played a crucial role during the 1999 Kargil war. Katewa said mules were moved from the eastern sector and Jammu region to Ladakh without acclimatisation. “The animals performed a splendid job. Their importance was reinforced and plans to disband AT units were shelved,” said Katewa.
Various stakeholders on Tuesday were entrusted with making suggestions to reduce travel time between the city and the International Airport in Mohali. The stakeholders include civic bodies of Chandigarh and Mohali, traffic police and engineering wings, among others. The direction was given in a meeting presided over by UT adviser, Dharampal, on the issue of establishing a “green channel” between the city and the international airport to reduce travel time.
An auto-driver died after a speeding sedan car rammed into his vehicle on Tuesday morning. The deceased has been identified as Sunny Kumar, 38, a resident of New Vikas Nagar, Baltana. Sunny Kumar was shifted to several hospitals but he succumbed to injuries while undergoing treatment at Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector-32. The deceased has been identified as a resident of Sector 33, Shivraj.
The Panjab University senate in its next meeting scheduled on July 5 will consider the draft roster prepared by the varsity for the direct recruitment of associate professors. As per the draft roster approved by the committee, 15% reservation will be for scheduled castes followed by 7.5% for scheduled tribes and 4% for persons with disabilities (PWD) in the associate professor cadre which has around 290 total posts.
A woman was booked under murder charges after the dead body of her husband was allegedly recovered from a gutter with the limbs tied in Ambala Cantonment, police said on Tuesday. The deceased, Rohtash was a daily wager from Sector 34 in Ghasitpur area. His wife has been identified as Kamlesh. The deceased's brother Inderpal alleged that the deceased's wife had killed him and later dumped the body in the open sewer.
While the city remained under cloud cover on Tuesday, pre-monsoon showers are likely to start from Wednesday, as per India Meteorological Department. Monsoon is likely to be declared on Thursday or Friday as per a statement issued by the IMD, and showers can be expected to continue in the city till the weekend. As per the IMD, pre-monsoon showers are the rains recorded up to 72 hours before the official onset of monsoon.