Pune, November 18, 2019: On the occasion of 239th Corps of Engineers Day, a solemn Wreath Laying Ceremony at the National War Memorial, Pune was organised on 18 November 2019 to honour the supreme sacrifice of the Sappers who laid down their lives for the Nation. Lieutenant General DS Ahuja, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Chief of Staff Southern Command, the senior most serving sapper officer in Southern Command, laid a commemorative wreath at the National War Memorial. Lieutenant General BT Pandit, Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Vir Chakra (Retired) laid the wreath on behalf of the veterans.
The Corps of Engineers is one of the oldest arms of the Indian Army. The origin of the Corps dates back to 1780 when two regular pioneer companies of the Madras Sappers were raised. Subsequently, the Group of Madras, Bengal and Bombay Sappers were formed and later merged on 18 November 1932 to from the Corps of Engineers in its present form.
True to its motto ‘’SARVATRA”, The Corps of Engineers has excelled in multifarious activities in war and peace and has won the highest military honours for gallantry, namely Param Vir Chakra, Ashok Chakra and many other distinguished service awards. In addition to combat duties, the Sappers have excelled in their non-combat role in India and abroad. They have made distinct contribution towards nation building through Civil Engineering constructions, relief and rescue works.
The construction of three Foot Over Bridges at
Elphinstone, Curry Road and Ambivali Railway Stations in a tight time frame of three months and fifteen days, flood relief and rescue operations in five states of Peninsular India saw the sappers giving selfless service to the nation. In addition the sapper green energy initiative with establishment of ten Solar Power Projects of capacity 16.25 Megawatt in various locations of Southern Command have resulted in huge power saving. Sappers have also left their imprint in a number of countries abroad while serving in the United Nations Peacekeeping forces. They have also carved a niche for themselves in the area of adventure and sports, with 29 Arjuna Awardees.