'Shelters For 500 Tanks, Border Roads..': Five Things General Manoj Pande Said At Press Confrence Ahead Of Army Day

'Shelters For 500 Tanks, Border Roads..': Five Things General Manoj Pande Said At Press Conference Ahead Of Army Day

by Ujjwal Shrotryia - Friday, January 13, 2023 02:34 PM IST
'Shelters For 500 Tanks, Border Roads..': Five Things General Manoj Pande Said At Press Conference Ahead Of Army DayArmy Chief General Manoj Pande.
  • Speaking at the press conference, the Army Chief gave an update on the situation at the border, discussed on border infrastructure development, and induction of women officers, among other issues.

Army Chief General Manoj Pande held a press conference on 12 January 2023. This press conference was held ahead of Army Day (15 January). 

The presser comes just weeks after the clashes between Indian and Chinese troops at Yangtse in Tawang, which resulted in injuries on both sides.

India and China have been locked in a tense military stand-off along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh since May 2020. 

Speaking at the press conference, the Army Chief gave the latest update on the situation at the border, among other issues. 

Here are the five things he said at the presser:

1. The Army Chief reported that the Chinese deployment opposite the eastern sector of the boundary (Sikkim and Arunachal) has increased. 

“The situation is stable and under control, yet unpredictable and the Indian soldiers are adequately deployed to deal with any contingency. There is a slight increase in the Chinese troop deployment level opposite our eastern command. They have come for training and have not gone back. We are keeping a close watch,” he said. 

He added, “In terms of our preparedness level, they remain of a very high standard. We have adequate forces, we have adequate reserves in each of our sectors to be able to effectively deal with any situation or contingency.”

The Army Chief said the “strategic rebalancing” of the troops that was undertaken sometime ago has been completed.

“We have been able to maintain a very robust defensive posture and prevent any attempts from our adversary to unilaterally change the status quo in a firm and resolute manner,” General Pande told the media.

There are reports that the Chinese have deployed four combined armed brigades for training, two of which haven’t gone back to their peacetime locations. 

2. About the infrastructure development in border areas, he said, “India too has recorded a marked improvement in border infrastructure development”.

“More than 2,100 km of roads have been constructed. Shelters for 500 tanks and 400 artillery guns have been constructed. Habitat for more than 55,000 troops has been completed in the last two years,” the Army Chief said. 

Although India is still behind the Chinese, the pace of infrastructure development has increased dramatically in the last few years. The stand-offs in Doklam and eastern Ladakh have induced urgency in the expenditure on border infrastructure.

The budget of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has seen a rapid rise in the last five to eight years. 

3. On the situation in Jammu and Kashmir he said, “the ceasefire understanding that was agreed to in February 2021 is holding well."

However, the cross-border infrastructure for the support of terrorists still remains. 

“What is heartening is the marked reduction in violence parameters and the fact that the people are partnering with the government in a number of development initiatives. All these notwithstanding, we need to be alert on both the Line of Control and the hinterland”, he said.

4. The Army Chief also commented on the Russia-Ukraine war.

Asked about the lessons learned from the Russia-Ukraine war, he said that “a detailed analysis was carried out at operational, strategic and tactical levels. We have to contextualize these lessons. We have incorporated them in terms of larger weapons platforms, and cyberspace”.

To a question on the impact of the Ukraine conflict, the General Pande said that there has been an impact on supplies, but his force would overcome the challenge.

5. The General said that the proposal for the induction of women officers into the artillery regiments has been sent to the government.

“This is something we have decided to do. The proposal is forwarded to the government. We hope that it will be accepted”.

He was talking about reports that the Indian Army will soon induct women officers into the artillery regiments.

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