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19 septembre 2011 1 19 /09 /septembre /2011 16:55



2011-09-19 (China Military News cited from dnaindia.com)


Indian Army's plans to beef up presence on the Indo-China border have met with fierce resistance from two unexpected quarters — the finance and the environment ministries.Headed by the then Western Army Commander, Lt Gen JJ Singh, the study group had recommended a mountain strike corps to be created for the Indo-China border.


The finance wing of the defence ministry in consultation with the ministry of finance is not agreeable to spend a whopping Rs12,000 crore to set up a Mountain Strike Corps even as a plan to create an alternate, all-weather route from Siliguri to North Sikkim to rush troops to the Indo-China border has been rejected by the ministry of environment and forests on the grounds that the alignment passes through eco-sensitive areas.


Left with almost no options, the army headquarters is now planning to move in an independent armoured brigade into North Sikkim to try and maintain some muscle on one of its most sensitive border. According to sources in South Block, which houses the ministry of defence, the army is all set to induct the tank brigade by December 31 this year.


The proposal to beef up the army's force on the Indo-China border comes at a time when the US Pentagon has reported that China was training two divisions in high altitude warfare. The idea to raise a dedicated mountain strike corps as a bulwark against China was mooted in the aftermath of the disastrous Operation Parakram, when the Indian army mobilised after the December 13 attack on Parliament.


At that time, the then army chief, Gen NC Vij, had ordered a comprehensive review of the army's offensive and defensive posture.


The study group was unambiguous that a dedicated mountain strike corps is essential to maintain deterrence against the Chinese. "We must have a mountain strike corps in the sector if we need to maintain a strong deterrent posture," Gen Vij told DNA.


As army chief he had pushed for a major reorganisation of the military structure to prepare for all exigencies on the Pakistan and China fronts.


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