A copy/paste article from www.Deccan Herald.com
ITBP personnel on the banks of Pangong Tso, in Ladakh. Representative image/Credit: PTI File Photo
With no signs of troop de-escalation on the Ladakh front, the Indian Army on Friday decided to purchase 12 fast patrol boats from Goa Shipyard, presumably for improving surveillance in Pangong Tso through which the Line of Actual Control between and China passes.
“Indian Army has inked a contract with Goa Shipyard Ltd for 12 fast patrol boats for surveillance and patrolling of large water bodies, including those in high altitude areas. The delivery of these boats would commence from May 2021,” said an official.
This means the boats will be available to the troops at the onset of next summer, when the snow melts and troops from the Indian Army and Chinese People’s Liberation Army will resume their respective patrolling activities.
Currently, there are nearly 50,000 soldiers from either side camping on both sides of the disputed boundary.
Last year, during such summer patrolling, Indian troops found out the encroachment and violation of the LAC at multiple locations by the PLA, leading to the biggest Sino-Indian military crisis since the 1962 war.
The northern banks of the boomerang-shaped lake is a key contention area as Chinese soldiers prevented Indian troops from patrolling the areas which they traditionally did.
Over the last few years, the Chinese side brought in fast-moving surveillance boats and constructed a new boat house to keep an eye on their territory within the lake. Indian Army, too, has speed boats for reconnaissance.
Last week, Indian Army Chief Gen M M Naravane visited the forward posts at Rechin La to review the cold weather arrangements.
China and India are in consultations to hold the ninth round of Corps Commander-level meeting to discuss the disengagement of troops in eastern Ladakh.
Since the eighth round of Corps Commander-level talks between the two armies, the two countries regularly hold consultations on disengagement of front line troops, but there is no thinning of the troops on the ground.
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