The number of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) posts along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) has been increased from 180 to 195 as part of plans to better operational capability and border management, a top official said on Friday.
The about one-lakh personnel strong force is tasked with guarding the 3,488-km India-China LAC and has posts at heights ranging from 14,000-18,000 feet.
Addressing the 62nd Raising Day of the force in the Uttarakhand capital, ITBP Director General AD Singh said the government had recently sanctioned the raising of seven ITBP battalions. Out of these, four have already been raised in Arunachal Pradesh, he said.
The director general (DG) said creating the new border posts was an “ambitious decision”. For better border management, more forward bases have been created and the total number of border posts increased from 180 to 195 over a period of time, Singh said.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah officiated the event as its chief guest. The ITBP was raised on October 24, 1962 in the aftermath of the Chinese aggression.
During his address, the DG gave an overall review of the force and said the ITBP has deployed 500 women personnel at its border posts. The ITBP has also made about 6,000 appointments in “mission mode”, he said.
As part of a policy for better operational capability, the ITBP has decided to post its young personnel at high-altitude posts and those in the higher age group or in the “low medical category” at lower stations, Singh said.
The DG said a special medical review was conducted and as a result “low medical category” cases have come down to less than five per cent.
Home Minister Shah launched a ‘logistics drone’ project at the event, during which a 110-kg Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) lifted about 15-20 kg of essential medicines and rations for ITBP jawans deployed in remote border posts as well as locals.
The drone can lift loads up to a height of 14,000 feet and fly for 40 minutes at a speed ranging from 28-43 kmph, an official said.
A video clip played at the event also showed the drone picking up supplies from the ITBP’s Nilong border post to take it to the high-altitude Jadhung post in Uttarakhand.