Making the final policy push, the Central government has decided to sanction a major manpower and infrastructure boost to the ITBP in the form of nine new battalions, a strategic sector headquarter on the front, a dozen patrol camps and 47 new BoPs to be raised along the China border over the next few years.
As per media reports, the Union Home Ministry last month held a meeting for the creation of a number of operational border security requirements for the force that is mandated to guard the 3,488-km long Sino-India frontier.
As per the proposal, the Home Ministry has accorded an in-principle approval to raise 9 new battalions (comprising about 9,000 personnel), a sector headquarter on the China border in a Northeast state, 47 new border outposts (BoPs), 12 ‘staging camps’ and augmenting the troops’ strength at 18 BoPs in the Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh region.
Nine of these battalions were meant for the Indo-Tibetan Border Police while the rest were for the Border Security Force, which had been sanctioned sometime back by the ministry.
With the sanction coming in for the ITBP by the next month, a senior official said, the force will start fresh recruitment to raise the new battalions and also to fill its existing vacancy of about 6,000 personnel in the lower ranks.
The budgetary allocation is the last thing to be cleared by the Home Ministry, he said.
The new sector headquarter, the official said, will be headed by a deputy inspector general (DIG)-rank official and in all possibility will be based in Arunachal Pradesh to oversee the deployment of the force in the border state and adjoining Sikkim area.
The dozen new ‘staging camps’ or temporary huts are required to provide ITBP patrols rations, logistics and a place to stay during long-range patrols along the icy Himalayan frontier. They act as temporary BoPs for the troops out on operations.