4 new passes to be introduced by 2020 along the Indo-China border

To enhance the infrastructure significantly along the India-China border, including Doklam, where both the armies were involved in a two-month standoff, The Defence ministry has decided to construct 4 new passes with China which will be connected by 2020. The army officials said that the decision was taken at a recent conference of the Army’s commanders which was held from 9 to 15 October. This extensively deliberated on the recent standoff, besides analysing all possible security challenges on the northern border, officials said. “It has been decided that there would be a concerted heft towards road construction activities in this sector. To that end, four passes to Niti, Lipulekh, Thangla1, Tsangchokla have been decided to be connected by 2020 on priority,” Director-General, Staff Duties, Vijay Singh told. He told that the commanders have also examined organisational changes of some of the formations to enhance existing capability, indicating that the Army leadership was looking at bolstering its current operational preparedness. The conference was also addressed by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, and lauded the swift and effective response of the Army in dealing with external and internal threats. Mr. Singh said that The Minister emphasised “the need to guard against inimical forces”. Referring to the “Make in India” programme, Ms. Sitharaman stressed the urgent need to become self reliant in the defence sector. The DGSD said, “She emphasised on jointness and integration by all services for emerging challenges”. “The army will have to be prepared for ‘all eventualities at all times’ and therefore utmost priority had to be given to the procurement of arms, ammunition and equipment”, said Bepin Rawat, The Chief of the Army Staff.