869 soldiers sacrificed in defending Siachen Glacier
The total number of soldiers who have died in Siachen Glacier on OP MEGHDOOT since 1984 till date due to climatic conditions, environmental and other factors are as under:- Officers – 33, JCOs – 54, OR – 782, totally 869.
The Siachen Glacier has been actively defended by our troops since 13 Apr 1984 in a special operation named ‘Operation Meghdoot’ which was launched to thwart Pakistan’s efforts to establish an illegal foothold on the strategic Saltoro ranges, overlooking the Nubra Valley in Jammu and Kashmir, where the glacier is located.
The troops deployed in the Siachen Glacier experience harsh winters as the temperatures dip upto 50 degrees below freezing point. The sector has seen a large number of sacrifices and acts of gallantry since then.
In order to fast track procurement of Clothing and Equipments for defence personnal deployed in very high altitude areas like Siachen, an Empowered Committee under the chairmanship of Master General of Ordnance (MGO) has been set up with full powers of Competent Financial Authority.
Special dispensation for placing 100% repeat order has also been given to the Empowered Committee. Moreover, sufficient quantities of these items are kept in reserve in Army Headquarters to avoid any shortage.
Operational deployment along the borders is a dynamic process based on assessment of threat to the National Security. Out of 55 items of clothing and mountaineering equipments, only 20 items are imported. Details of Expenditure incurred for the last three years including current year are as:- Rs 938 crores in 2015-16 (till November 30), Rs 2366 crores in 2014-15 and Rs 1919 crores in 2013-14.
Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh said, “Steps taken for upgradation include constant search for newer items which will save lives and increase the combat efficiency of our troops deployed in very high altitude areas like Siachen. A Seminar with Indian Technical Textile Association was held in February 2015 followed up by trial of items in Siachen Glacier and sharing of trial reports with Indian Industry for further improvement to meet the stringent requirements of such areas.”
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