Thursday will mark one week since India’s external affairs minister S Jaishankar and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met in Moscow for over 2 hours. After the meet, both sides came out with a five-point joint statement that called for easing of tensions by disengagement, dialogue and keeping distance between the troops of both countries.
Last week ahead of the Moscow pact, on Monday shots were fired at the line of actual control by the Chinese, the Indian army said in a statement. On Tuesday, the Chinese forces indulged in provocative action all though out the day.
Meanwhile, the Indian army is ready with its operational logistics readiness for a prolonged standoff as winters set in. The Indian army has already stocked special fuel and lubricants for tanks and armoured personnel carriers, including spares for their maintenance.
Maj Gen Arvind Kapoor, Chief of Staff, Fire and Fury Corps speaking to reporters in Ladakh said, “We have enough equipment, state of the art facility–habitat, health and hygiene, best quality ration– highly nutritional. Chief of army staff has visited Ladah and inspected frontline troops and formations.”
The area where forces are on standoff experiences 40 feet of snow in just November and temperatures can go down to minus 30-40 degrees, which is normal. What can make the matter worse is chilly winds can add to the problem.
Sources told WION, “Water points and tube wells have been established for the troops and animals like mules and yaks. ” Adding,” The living barracks have also been prepared which are comfortable and warm. Facilities such as the central heating system are some of the high points of these facilities.”
Indian army’s Logistic capability relates to mobility, special rations, repair, recovery, heating systems, high-quality weapons, ammunition, quality clothing etc. While most of this existed earlier, sources explained, a lot has also been boosted since May this year when China showed first signs of aggression.
Asked about ammunition, sources responded, “various types including small arms, missiles and tank and artillery ammunition have also been adequately stocked. The medical system is also in place for any eventuality.”
Indian forces have the advantage of serving in such climates given the experience of Siachen where conditions are much more demanding than the frontiers with China. This experience of “winter warfare” will come in handy as Chinese still have to disengage and drawdown at LAC.
When it comes to connectivity to Ladakh, there were two routes for moving in, one through Zojila and Rohtang Passes. India has now commissioned the third road from Darcha to Leh which is much shorter distance-wise. Completion of Atal tunnel on the Rohtang route has played as “force multiplied the logistic capacities.”
Modern snow clearing equipment has been also been placed on the routes to keep them open beyond November so that daily requirements of the troops can be sent. Indian air forces bases will also give the additional advantage of supporting the army.