Guwahati: Indian Army has developed a “first-of-its-kind integrated” post beyond 10,000 ft above sea level in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang sector along China border.
Army engineers used a mix of materials, including bamboo and other locally available resources, to give shape to the post.
“The plan was to create a model post for troops on the frontline as an integrated project keeping in mind the space, essential troop comfort, weather protection, amenities like running water, power requirements, safety and connectivity. The selected location for the model post was winter cut-off at high altitude,” a Defence statement said.
The requirement of better habitats for troops to “boost their morale” has been an area of improvement, gathering pace after a considerable push to border infrastructure in terms of connectivity during the last decade, The Hindu quoted Army officials as saying.
“Improved living conditions for troops in secluded and cut-off posts away from family started getting the desired push in the last few years,” a spokesperson said.
Officials admitted that the living conditions in such posts, with soldiers “billeted in a prefabricated shelter or living bunkers”, have been sub-par because of difficult terrain and technological limitations.
“There were major shortcomings with respect to living standards, protection against weather, space available to men, hygiene facilities and the ad-hoc power arrangements. This is now fast changing,” the statement said.
There were numerous challenges such as connectivity, difficulty in transporting construction materials, a limited construction period due to the continued bad weather, and poor visibility. The approach to construction was thus changed and the model post conceptualised as a “hi-tech, modern integrated project self-reliant with hybrid renewable energy sources”.
If a quick-setting compound was used to tackle continuous rainfall, the engineers used the indigenous ultra-high-performance cement plates to reduce overall construction time and enhance portability besides ensuring stronger protection. Bamboo-reinforced concrete frames have also been used.
“A collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology-Guwahati is also moving well wherein 3D printing technology is being explored to fast-pace the construction of all kinds in the field conditions in a much shorter time and with superior ergonomics,” the statement added