Water-wing flotilla for India-China border

Senior officials in ITBP told Deccan Herald that the water wing of the para-military force would patrol  and monitor the safety in  lakes, rivers and hot springs in the Himalayan region. The ITBP has, so far been, relying on the army for keeping a hawk eye on the water bodies along  the 3,488-kilometre India-China border. Celebrating 50th anniversary of it’s raising day  on October 24, the force is taking a leap frog in modernising the police, the ambitious water-wing is part of the programme unrolled by it. An estimated Rs 3,000 crore modernisation plan has been approved by the Centre.

The wing will help the border force man Pangong Lake, whose one-third portion is in north of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir, the Indus River and some of the hot springs and rivers in northeast, said senior police officials in the ITBP. The  flotilla which may be water-born soon would have, to begin with, over 125 personnel. “ It will be equipped with mechanised and inflatable boats deployed along the border and Line of Actual Control,” they said.

Answering a query, the officials said the generational changes in the force has no link with the preparedness or  logistic upgradation across the borders. The denial, notwithstanding, the force has only recently carved out “an exclusive  intelligence wing” to collect information on the Sino-India frontiers. The infrastructure on the Indian side of the border, including the roads, are being rapidly transformed with the direct monitoring of the Union Home Ministry.

There were also reports of Chinese violations of the Indian air space. Top Indian officials in the Army and Air force have recently stated that Indian modernisation in the armaments and preparedness would match not only that of China but go beyond.

Asked about the alleged Chinese land intrusions on the Arunachal Borders, ITBP officials, however, dismissed them as of no consequences. “ The terrain on our side is uneven and not clearly demarcated. This at times leads to some misunderstanding with Chinese troops,”  said a senior official.

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