Advertisement
Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021
Outlook.com

Somewhere In The West...

The barbs are hitting home. As the Indian army immerses itself in the ambitious task of wiring up an inhospitable Line of Control, our correspondent Murali Krishnan follows their tracks in the Poonch and Rajouri sectors while T. Narayan photographs t

Somewhere In The West...
T. Narayan
Somewhere In The West...
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
India and Pakistan may be exchanging cryptic peace proposals, but down at the Line of Control (LoC), the army is taking no chances. In one of the most risk-fraught missions it has undertaken in recent times, it is fencing close to 490 km along the LoC, in the face of the combined hostilities of the terrain, the weather and the enemy.

"We hope when the fencing mission is complete, it will beef up our counter-insurgency operations and cut down infiltration," says Brig K.V.S. Lalotra of the 120 Infantry Brigade in Bimber Gali, Rajouri. Infiltrators favour the area under his command because of the passes here that are difficult to patrol. Through Bimber Gali and Mendhar—which have both seen fierce encounters between infiltrators and security forces this year—terrorists have managed to cross into the Kashmir Valley, and into Doda and Kishtwar. But, says Lalotra, "It will all be different when the fence comes up."

So, what exactly does it take to fence a kilometre?

Approximately 260 aggregate tonnage of cement, sand, iron pickets and steel wire in terms of essential hardware. The material is first carted to a roadhead and from there on transported in smaller vehicles. Then begins the real work, a time-consuming labour of digging and anchoring the pickets, then casting and curing the cement. "It took us two-and-a-half months to fence just 11 km and that too was done in two phases because of the hostile terrain," says Major Sunil Tiwari. Fencing a stretch of 1 km costs between Rs 25 and 30 lakh depending on the terrain. Army headquarters refuses to hazard a guess on the total costs involved but a ballpark figure of Rs 11,000 crore could well be realistic.

But it takes more than money and material to fence a kilometre. Even if hostilities are scaled down, the LoC remains very much 'live'. For instance, while erecting the fence along the 260-km...
Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Bombay High Court Adjourns Aryan Khan's Bail Application Till Tomorrow

Bombay High Court Adjourns Aryan Khan's Bail Application Till Tomorrow

Former Attorney General of India (AGI) Mukul Rohatgi appeared for Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan, along with his existing legal counsel comprising Satish Manishinde and Amit Desai.

Explainer | Why A Lawyer Is Seeking FIR Against NCB's Wankhede For 'Extortion' In Aryan Khan Drugs Case

Explainer | Why A Lawyer Is Seeking FIR Against NCB's Wankhede For 'Extortion' In Aryan Khan Drugs Case

On Monday, a lawyer approached the Mumbai police with a complaint seeking registration of an FIR against Sameer Wankhede and five others for extortion in the drugs-on-cruise case.

IPL Controversy: CVC Capital Under BCCI Scanner

IPL Controversy: CVC Capital Under BCCI Scanner

The BCCI on Monday named RPSG Ventures Limited and Irelia Company Pte Ltd. (CVC Capital Partners) as owners of the new IPL teams from 2022.

'TMC & AAP On A Mission To Split Congress Votes And Help BJP In Goa': State Congress Chief

'TMC & AAP On A Mission To Split Congress Votes And Help BJP In Goa': State Congress Chief

Goa Congress president Girish Chodankar strongly asserted that the voters cannot be wooed with false promises and money as people are deeply rooted in the Congress.

Advertisement