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Projects to build climate-controlled outposts, roads along China border delayed: ITBP DG

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: October 23, 2019  | 18:12 IST

New Delhi, Oct 23 (PTI) Two strategic projects to build climate-controlled border outposts and frontier roads along the LAC with China have been "delayed" by construction agencies but efforts are being made to expedite them, ITBP Director-General S S Deswal said on Wednesday. The Indo-Tibetan Border Police chief also said the force is assessing the 3,488-km border area, running from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh, to see if more outposts can be created. The construction of the first ITBP composite or climate-controlled outpost at Lukung (near Pangong Tso in Ladakh) was entrusted to NBCC but has been delayed, Deswal said. "We are requesting them to expedite the work. We are making efforts to ensure that the work is complete without further delay," he told reporters on the eve of the 58th Raising Day of the paramilitary force raised in the aftermath of the 1962 Chinese aggression. The building of composite outposts for ITBP troops is an ambitious project sanctioned by the Union government a few years ago. These bases will have climate-controlled temperatures for jawans who guard the Line of Actual Control with China and the source of energy at these will be clean fuel or solar energy, and not diesel or kerosene. These high-altitude border outposts will also have facilities to store water in liquid form. If the outside temperature is say about minus 40 degrees Celsius, the temperature inside the composite outposts will be around normal room temperature at 25-30 degrees Celsius, a senior official said. At present, there are 180 ITBP border outposts on this front, the official added. For border roads too, DG Deswal said, there has been a "delay" by construction agencies but "they are also very concerned about it." "The pace of construction of roads in border areas (along LAC) has been expedited in the last few years. The roads that have been built are very beautiful and strong," the ITBP chief said. He, however, added that in the last 5-6 years, ITBP has seen "rapid improvement" in infrastructure in border areas. In the first phase, 11 roads totalling 270 km have been completed and in the second phase, 45 roads with a length of 1,033 km will be completed, the DG said. Talking about confrontations and standoffs between Indian and Chinese troops, Deswal said the issue essentially arises out of "perceptional differences" of the border. "Our and their (Chinese PLA) units come for patrolling on the same route and then the confrontation happens," he said. But the ITBP dominates such areas of dispute now and has increased patrolling as the number of its border posts have gone up, by 25 in number, over the last five years. "We do not lower our guard on the basis of diplomatic processes and the level of guard at the borders does not depend on diplomatic events or efforts," the DG said when asked if the situation has changed after the two informal summits between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping. "Please be confident that we, the two countries, have a very good agreed mechanism to find solutions to all situations and that mechanism is perfect. The border is safe and secure," he asserted. The ITBP functions under the Union Home Ministry. PTI NES NES ABH ABH ABH

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