India to construct composite border outposts
Indian government has begun construction of new climate-controlled border outposts in Ladakh for ITBP soldiers. In Picture: Indian army soldier guards Zojila mountain pass after Srinagar-Leh road was opened to traffic in Zojila, east of Srinagar.Reuters

Indian soldiers posted on the high-altitude areas along the county's border with China can look forward to the first of its kind modern, eco-friendly and climate-controlled border outpost (BoP) for the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) in Ladakh. 

"The work on the first BoP has started. It should be completed by May next year and our jawans can use it from next winter," the Times of India quoted an official as saying.

The state-of-the-art composite border outpost is said to feature central heating, solar panels on roofs, recreation rooms, toilets with hot water and other modern amenities like mess, armoury, medical room, office for senior officers and area for motor and animal transport. These BoPs are expected to house around 100 soldiers.

The construction of the first BoP has started in Lukung valley, at an expected cost of Rs. 17 crore.

These changes were brought in after Home Minister Rajnath SIngh's visit to a forward ITBP post last year. The home minister had promised additional funds for BoPs.

Soldiers posted in forward bases have to cope with harsh climate conditions, since the temperatures at these locations, which are at a height of over 15,000 feet, plunge to minus 45 degrees. However, these modern BoPs will keep temperatures in the range of 20-22 degree Celsius.

The government now plans 50 such BoPs at the cost of Rs. 700 to Rs. 800 crore. The designs for these outposts have been provided by IIT-Delhi and IIT-Roorkee.

Officials also revealed that once work is completed on the 50 BoPs, the government might take up work on 27 similar outposts in Arunachal Pradesh. ITBP soldiers posted in this region recently received SUVs like Toyota Fortuner and Mahindra Scorpio.