India’s military has activated its entire logistics network to supply thousands of troops before a harsh winter along the bitterly disputed Himalayan border with China, as New Delhi blamed Beijing for the worst border standoff in decades.
In recent months, one of India’s largest military logistics exercises, Ladakh bordering Tibet, has brought huge quantities of ammunition, equipment, fuel, winter supplies and food, administered in India.
The move was triggered by a border dispute with China, which began in May and proceeded to hand-over in June. Twenty Indian soldiers were killed, while China suffered an unknown number of casualties.
On Tuesday, India’s defense minister Rajnath Singh accused China of violating previous border agreements and expanding its military deployment along the disputed mountainous border in the Ladakh region, which was outfitted with Indian-administered Kashmir last August.
Singh told parliament that India had informed China through diplomatic channels that “efforts to unilaterally change the status quo were in violation of bilateral agreements”.
He also said that India has retaliated along the rugged borderline and that its troops have “thwarted China’s efforts for change”.
The two countries are negotiating to resolve the conflict, but neither side has supported. The Indian Army is now ready to keep troops deployed on treacherous, high-altitude ranges through the winter.
East Ladakh, where the flare-up occurs, is typically manned by 20,000–30,000 soldiers. But a military official said that the number of deployments has more than doubled.
“We have reflected the increase in the number of Chinese troops,” the official said.
Officials said temperatures in Ladakh could fall below freezing, and troops are deployed at altitudes of more than 15,000 feet.
Since at least four months of snow in winter passes every year in Ladakh, Indian military planners have already taken more than 150,000 tons of material.
Major General Arvind Kapoor, Chief of Staff of the 14 Corps of the Indian Army said, “All the supplies we need have already been pushed.
On Tuesday morning, a succession of large transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force landed on a forward base in Ladakh, carrying men and materials, as fighter jets roared overhead.
Soldiers with a backpack were moved out and examined for COVID-19 symptoms at a transit facility, where they were awaiting further transport.
The material is stored in a network of logistics centers.
At a fuel, oil and lubricant depot near Leh, the main city of Ladakh, a hill was covered with a cluster of green drums.
At storage facilities at the nearby supply depot, boxes and ration sacks – including pistachios, instant noodles, and Indian curries – stood in long piles. At another base near Leh, tents, heaters, winter clothes and high-altitude equipment are housed.
From these depots, materials are pushed into logistics nodes by trucks, helicopters and, in some particularly difficult parts, mules, officials said.
Kapoor said, “In a place like Ladakh, operational logistics is of great importance.” “In the last 20 years, we have mastered it.”
Border infrastructure projects
Speaking in Parliament, Singh also said that New Delhi has doubled the budget for important roads and bridges along the undeclared border with China in recent years in response to Beijing’s rapid infrastructure development.
The defense minister told Parliament that China had been building its infrastructure in remote mountains for decades and the government was trying to close the gap.
“Our government too has almost doubled the budget for the development of border infrastructure from the previous levels. As a result, more roads and bridges have been built in the border areas,” he said. He did not give any figures.
The Chinese side said that the construction of road and airspace near the border in Ladakh region of India has caused tension.
Military officials say that the development of infrastructure on both sides of the border has also helped troops mobilize quickly in large numbers and at certain points in the Ladakh region.
Singh said that Indian and Chinese troops have faced off on the unsafe border in the past, but the deployment of troops and the number of disputed areas was much larger than in the past.
“So far, the Chinese side has mobilized a large number of troops and armies in the LAC as well as depth zones,” he said, listing the north and south sides of Lake Gogra, Kongka La and Pangong as “abrasive” Points while doing “.