Government of India is planning to provide better working conditions to jawans guarding the border, especially those posted at high altitudes where the temperature dips to minus 45 degrees, has finally taken off with work starting on the first state-of-the-art composite border outpost (BoP) for ITBP jawans in Ladakh.

The first composite BoP will have central heating, roofs covered with solar panels, recreation rooms, toilets with running hot water and other modern facilities, is being constructed in the Lukung valley at a cost of Rs 17 crore.

The first of its kind The Eco-Friendly BoP, will keep the temperature inside at 20-22 degree Celsius even if it is freezing outside. This kind of facility was never available to jawans posted at high altitudes and after long duty hours every day , they had to boil water in their barracks for even basic activities. Home minister Rajnath Singh, during a visit to ITBP’s forward location last year on the India-China border, saw the harsh conditions jawans were living in and decided to sanction funds for the BoPs.

The ITBP plans to construct 50 such BoPs in the region, where temperatures usually hit minus 40 degree celsius. The whole project will cost the government between Rs 700 crore and Rs 800 crore, officials said.

It is Designed by IIT-Delhi and IIT-Roorkee. These BoPs will have an interlinked system of barracks, enough to station over 100 jawans, mess, toilets, armoury ,medical room, office of senior officers and area for motor and animal transport.

ITBP chief Krishna Chaudhary told TOI,

“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.”

Another senior ITBP official said,

“It’s a good initiative by the government. When a jawan comes back to the post, he should get hot, well cooked meals, should be warm, and should get good sleep. The idea is to provide him all this so that he can be more attentive at the border and doesn’t need to think about the stress of arranging things every day .”

Officials said once the old BoPs in Leh-Ladakh region are converted into Composite BoPs, there are plans to upgrade 27 such outposts in Aruna chal Pradesh as well, which also shares a long border with China.

A senior central paramilitary officer said,

“These two sides on the border are freezing for seven to eight months. While Chinese troops work in good conditions with all facilities, ITBP jawans had to use conventional ways to keep themselves warm. It’s a good sign that the government had finally woken up to the needs of jawans who secure the country,”

The ITBP also recently gave high-end SUVs like Toyota Fortuner and Mahindra Scorpio to jawans in the region.

Originally Published in the Times Of India