ITBP (Indo-Tibetan Border Police) is deploying a mechanised column of power vehicles and machines to speedily mobilise troops along the India-China border in case of Doklam-like standoffs
- The defence ministry had recently decided to significantly enhance infrastructure along this border including around the areas of dispute with the Chinese forces.
- The mechanised column of the force will comprise over 250 Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs), all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), snow scooters, excavators and few other medium-lift four-wheeled vehicles.
- The force has about 30 border posts above the height of 15,000 feet and some 50 posts above 12,000 feet.
- The Home Ministry has accorded sanctions to the ITBP to have at least one snow scooter at each of these frontier bases.
- The force has also been given sanctions to upgrade its firepower by modernizing the support weapons like 81mm mortars.
- Through this move government has decided to strengthen the assets and strength of the both the army and the ITBP.
Why was this decision taken?
- It is essential to have a mechanized column in the ITBP as it secures the border in peacetime and will bear the first onslaught in case of a war or a conflict.
- Presently, only the Border Security Force that guards the India-Pakistan border had an artillery unit and some mechanized components to aid it.
- The Army has the mechanized infantry, it is essential to have a mechanized column in the ITBP.
- Because the ITBP secures the border in peacetime and will bear the first onslaught in case of a war or a conflict.
What is Mechanized infantry?
- Mechanized infantry are infantry equipped with armored personnel carriers (APCs) or infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) for transport and combat.
- Mechanized infantry is distinguished from motorized infantry in that its vehicles provide a degree of protection from hostile fire, as opposed to “soft-skinned” wheeled vehicles (trucks or jeeps) for motorized infantry
- Most APCs and IFVs are fully tracked or are all-wheel drive vehicles (6×6 or 8×8), for mobility across rough ground.
- Some nations distinguish between mechanized and armored infantry, designating troops carried by APCs as mechanized and those in IFVs as armored
ITBP (The Indo Tibetan Border Police):
- ITBP was conceived on Oct 24, 1962.
- It is a multi-directional force.
- Presently the battalion of ITBP deployed on border guarding duties from Karakoram Pass in Ladak to Jachep la in Arunachal Pradesh.
What problems ITBP is facing?
- In areas like Arunachal Pradesh where there poor road connectivity, it can take several days of walking to reach the outposts and weeks to comprehensively patrol borders.
- ITBP works under harsh conditions, working conditions of force personnel is biting cold of the Himalayas and relentless forests of Arunachal Pradesh.
- ITBP does not have its own intelligence setup so essential in operation situations.