Winter in Ladakh: Upcoming Challenges
The super chilly freezing winters of Ladakh deserts are famous in India. The temperature was recorded less than -40 degrees Celcius, on few occasions of peak time winter in Ladakh. The chilly air of winter arrives in October ending and stays till the month of April ends. December and January are the peak times of winter in Ladakh.
This harsh climate of winter in Ladakh is going to make it very difficult for the Indian troops to guard the eastern Ladakh border during the upcoming winter.
Not only the harsh climate and the high altitude sickness are the challenges to the Indian troops in winter but the road connectivity to Ladakh in winter is also a big issue. The NH1 road of Srinagar to Leh remains closed from November to April. The Manali to Leh road also remains closed from October to May.
Preparation for the upcoming winter in Ladakh
- 32k Indian troops specially trained for winter combat.
- Special suits and gear for winter in Ladakh.
- Costly mountaineering types of equipment are provided to the 32k troops.
- Special tents with temperature regulating features and pre-fabricated huts for extreme winters are also provided.
- A super diet containing the high calorific and nutrient value specially designed to meet the requirement of high altitude areas.
- Development of a third road for round the year connectivity.
- Transporting all the required supplies before the winter arrives.
- Transporting heavy artilleries and other advanced weapons before the road gets blocked.
- The light utility helicopters by HAL designed for high altitude areas like Ladakh.
- Deployment of Rafale jet fighters in Ladakh.
This provision of special winter suits would cost approximately INR 400 cr. Cost per soldier’s winter suiting and equipment is estimated to be around one Lakh rupees. One of the army officers mentioned that “The special winter suit and gear are of superlative quality standards with features like light in weight, super durable, thermal, equilibrium, waterproof, breathable, etc.,”.
The winter suits are equipped with special three-layered jackets and trousers, boots for snowing winter, goggles for snow, face-mask, rucksacks, etc. Special Tents and pre-fabricated huts for extreme climates where temperature can be regulated are also provided.
Special diets are also required for the troops operating in high altitude. As, troops working in these areas suffer from a syndrome called anorexia, resulting in loss of appetite. The special diet is scientifically formulated containing high calorific and nutrient value to meet the taste of troops.
At present, India is engaged in two main highway tasks to enhance connectivity to the Union Territory of Ladakh and the far-flung areas within the mountainous area close to the China border. The tasks would come as a significant enhancement for the nation’s armed forces as relations with China stay strained.
The primary highway challenge that India is engaged in will begin from Leh in the direction of Daulatbeg Oldi on China border passing by the mighty Khardung La cross Sasoma-Saser La and DBO.
The brand new highway entry from Khardung La will assist the Indian aspect hold to provide traces open in case of a battle with China. The brand new highway challenge has been happening for greater than three years now as the central government had tasked the native military formations to examine the feasibility and viability of the challenge in 2016. Now, this road will help to transport supplies in winter in Ladakh.
The deployment of Light Utility Helicopters at LAC in Ladakh in winter would be very handy for patrolling the border areas of eastern Ladakh. As per HAL officials, it’s a new generation helicopter with state of the art technologies onboard. Weighing only three Tons, these lightweight helicopters would meet the emerging need of Ladakh in winter.
According to HAL officials, this helicopter comes with a Glass Cockpit and can be used for various roles in Ladakh during winter including Surveillance and also as a light transport helicopter. It can fly with four quantal payloads at a speed of 235 Kilometers per hour.
China’s PLA has been positioned at Pangong Tso area in eastern Ladakh and a number of other different friction points alongside the LAC of eastern Ladakh and have refused to disengage since mid-July. They’ve been elevating unacceptable factors earlier than the Indian army.
India and China have additionally held various rounds of Corps Commander stage talks however they haven’t been come to a solution yet to alter the occupied positions at LAC eastern Ladakh.
The disengagement course of with China isn’t shifting ahead even after a number of rounds of military-level talks; China’s PLA haven’t withdrawn from the stretch between Finger-Four and Finger-Eight at Pangong Lake. Apart from amassing weapons and troops close to the LAC, China has elevated the variety of its quick interceptor boats deployed on Pangong Tso. The Indian facet insisted forcefully on full disengagement of troops from China instantly, and instant restoration of established order ante in all areas of Ladakh previous to May, when the standoff started following a conflict between the 2 armies in Pangong Lake. PLA has pulled again from Galwan Valley and other different friction points however the withdrawal of its troops has not moved ahead from the Finger areas in Pangong Lake area, Gojra and Dipsang as demanded by India.
Contemplating the state of affairs on the bottom, the Indian Military and the Chinese military have determined to take care of a really high-level of operational readiness in all areas alongside the LAC in Ladakh, North Sikkim, Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh until a “passable” decision to the border row with China is arrived at. General MM Naravane has already conveyed to all of the senior commanders of the Military, overseeing the operation of the frontline formations alongside the LAC, to take care of a considerably excessive state of alertness to take care of any “misadventure” by PLA, they mentioned. The Indian military has already made elaborate plans to keep up the present power of troops and weapons alongside the LAC throughout the harsh winter months at LAC eastern Ladakh and all different delicate areas.
In contrast to many different components of northern India, winter in Ladakh starts effectively in November, Ladakh sees the onset of bitter chilly even from October, and notably so within the higher reaches of Eastern Ladakh on the border region shared with China.
This implies, the Indian armed forces barely have two months to get totally ready for the upcoming winter. The excellent news is preparations are effectively underneath, and India’s army commanders are taking a holistic approach to defend LAC eastern Ladakh.
Thousands of ALS vehicles are carrying huge portions of ration and gasoline for the troopers in Ladakh.
Apart from meals and kerosene oil, the troops would want particular tents and shelters, in addition to sufficient numbers of utmost chilly conditional clothes.
The essential factor to notice in all these preparations is that, all the routes connecting Ladakh to outside will get blocked after October, and due to this fact a lot of the provides must be delivered to the LAC before October.
One other merchandise being procured is winter diesel, gasoline that particularly caters to low-temperature and excessive altitude areas like Ladakh.
The needed essentials calculations which is completed take under consideration reserve stocks.
The troop build-up isn’t aimed simply at thwarting China’s possible mischief throughout winter, but additionally to stop any additional incursions as soon as the snows started to melt in April subsequent yr. Following the conflict at Galwan valley in June – wherein 20 Indian troopers and a lot of PLA troops have been killed – India’s army brass is getting ready for all eventualities whilst talks between the 2 militaries proceed.
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