On 40th anniversary of Operation Meghdoot, Army lists new initiatives in world's highest battlefield

LEH: The Indian Army on Friday commemorated the 40th anniversary of Operation Meghdoot, the operation that was carried out on the challenging terrain of the Siachin glaciers.

On this day in 1984, the Indian Army secured Bilafond La and other passes on the Saltoro Ridgeline, thus launching 'Operation MEGHDOOT'. Since then, it has been a saga of courage and fortitude in the face of a belligerent enemy, arduous terrain, and challenging climate conditions.

The Indian Army also shed light on major strides in enhancing the operational capabilities in the Siachen Glacier region, including the induction of heavy-lift helicopters and logistic drones that have vastly improved the supply of essentials to personnel deployed in posts that are cut off, especially in winters.

The Indian Army said that the availability of special clothing, mountaineering equipment, and advanced rations has enhanced the ability of soldiers to withstand the harsh conditions of the world's coldest battlefield. Gadgets such as Pocket Weather Trackers with each soldier provide timely updates on the weather and warn them about possible avalanches.

As per the Indian Army, there has been a noteworthy improvement in the aspect of mobility. The development of an extensive network of tracks and the introduction of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) have significantly improved mobility across the glacier.

Innovations like the DRDO-developed ATV bridges have enabled the army to overcome natural obstacles, while high-quality Dyneema ropes in aerial cableways ensure seamless supply lines to even the most remote outposts.

Mobile and Data Connectivity have improved considerably. The introduction of VSAT technology has revolutionised communication on the glacier, providing troops with data and internet connectivity. This leap in technology has enhanced real-time situational awareness, telemedicine capabilities, and the well-being of our soldiers by keeping them connected with their families, the Army added.

It said that the recent initiatives concerning the improvement of connectivity have ensured that personnel in forward posts in the Northern and Central Glaciers have access to fresh ration and vegetables instead of tinned ration, an aspect that could not be imagined a few years ago.

"Fresh rations and vegetables are now a reality for our forward posts, thanks to new logistic initiatives. State-of-the-art medical infrastructure at Siachen, including telemedicine nodes established by ISRO, provides critical medical support not only to our troops but also to the local populace and tourists in the Nubra Valley," the Army said.

The medical facilities in Partapur and Base Camp boast some of the best medical and surgical specialists in the country, state-of-the-art HAPO chambers, oxygen generation plants, and life support systems. This has ensured that all endeavours are made to save every life in this challenging terrain.

Green Energy Initiatives have been the bedrock of all the initiatives. Indian Army's focus on sustainability has led to the adoption of solar power plants, wind, and fuel cell-based generators, reducing carbon footprint significantly. Waste management initiatives, including the transportation of plastic waste for recycling, have ensured the conservation of the environment and sensitive glaciers.

An impetus has been given to the ecological conservation of glaciers with efforts to backload waste from the glaciers in return for helicopter sorties and new-generation Zanskar Ponies.

An MoU between the Indian Army and a private firm facilitates plastic waste from the northernmost point of Siachen Glacier to Tamil Nadu, where it is recycled to prepare jackets.

The Army and local populace of Shyok and Nubra Valleys have historically co-existed in harmony. There is a Joint Waste management setup that is operated by the Indian Army and the civil administration in Partapur in pursuit of their shared common goal of a greener and cleaner Siachen. Not surprisingly, Partapur was recently adjudged the best military station for green initiatives in J&K.


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