Indian Army engineers fare better than Chinese: Experts | Bengaluru News – Times of India
When it comes to expertise, Indian Army engineers are better than their Chinese counterparts, but shortage of funds remains a major concern, say experts.
BENGALURU: When it comes to expertise, Indian Army engineers are better than their Chinese counterparts, but shortage of funds remains a major concern, say experts.
Senior Army veterans and young researchers deliberated on the state of infrastructure and capabilities of the Indian Army during a recent panel discussion held by Defence Research and Studies (DRaS), a web-based think tank.
Lt Gen Gautam Banerjee, PVSM, AVSM, YSM (retd) contended that in terms of capability, expertise and skills, Indian Army engineers are better positioned than their Chinese counterparts. However, skill superiority is not sufficient to counterbalance the huge resources the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has invested into infrastructure building. Indian armed forces, on the other hand, have been kept on a starvation budget for long and it has resulted in inadequate fund allocation to supporting arms, including the corps of engineers, he said.
With reference to the India-China military stand-off in Ladakh, Banerjee said even though the Chinese troops used to remain well behind LAC heights, they were well-equipped and funded for quick infrastructure development. The Chinese pre-planned for border scenarios and contingencies.
He said infrastructure development along LAC has been an important concern for India since the late 1990s.
“We were not adequately prepared for a prolonged stand-off in the harsh terrain. We needed improved road connectivity, shelters and huts equipped with basic heating arrangements, water and electricity supply, and field defences to protect the troops on the heights,” Banerjee stated, while highlighting the commendable role of corps of engineers in infrastructure development during this period.
Spike in infra development
Infrastructure development in terms of shelter for the forces and connectivity to remote areas for area dominance has seen a spike post the Chinese misadventure.
Divya Malhotra, a researcher with DRaS adds: “Every border conflict puts issues of border infrastructure, military capabilities and defence budget back in the spotlight, but a knee-jerk reactions is not a healthy trend for a country which faces serious security threats on two fronts.”