The winters continue to get harsher each day in the Eastern Ladakh with the temperature dipping down to -20 degrees

The winters continue to get harsher each day in the Eastern Ladakh with the temperature dipping down to -20 degrees. The waterbodies including the Indus river have started freezing and the wind chill gets deadlier at the heights. Despite the difficult weather, the spirit of the Armed Forces remains high as more than 50,000 soldiers from the Indian Army continue to guard the border along the LAC. Soon the temperature will start falling further to reach - 40 degrees Celsius. India is in standoff position with China since last 7 months and the Army will continue with the deployment as no major breakthrough has been reached in eight rounds of military and diplomatic talks between both the sides. Soon, a ninth round of talks will take place to resolve the issue.

Besides the enemy and the tough terrain, the Indian soldiers are firmly guarding through the deadly winter. The Indian Army has made special preparations to save the soldiers from the severe cold. In East Ladakh also, the deployment of troops is being done on the lines of Siachen rotation. Soldiers will have to be deployed for only 90 days in extremely difficult conditions. After that, they will be replaced by other soldiers. Regular medical check-ups and acclimatisation procedure is being followed on the forward posts in Laddakh.

This is the first time when the Army is deployed in such strength during the winters on forward locations in Ladakh. Indian troops are stationed from Thakung to Rejang La on the eastern shore of East Ladakh i.e. Pangong Lake. Of these, peaks like Black Top, Mukherpari, Rejang La, Rechin La were captured by India between 29 to 31 August after the Galwan skirmish this year. After this occupation, the Indian Army is sitting at strategically important tops turning the situation advantageous for India to negotiate for full disengagement by the Chinese PLA. The deployment is challenging as it is very difficult to stay here in the winters and this is the first time when the Indian Army has been permanently deployed here through the winters.

Temperature Can Go Down To Minus 40 Degrees

Temperatures in these areas can go down to minus forty degrees. Apart from this, the extremely strong cold winds add to the difficulties. Therefore, every soldier after being stationed in a difficult place for 90 days will be brought to an easy place and will be replaced by soldiers who will be well acclimatized.

India has deployed about 50 thousand soldiers on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in May after increasing tension with China. The Army and Air Force started preparing for the winter here from July itself. Ration, kerosene heaters, special clothes, tents and medicines have been stored for the entire winter as part of a major campaign. Recently 11000 sets of special clothes have been brought from America for the use of soldiers in extremely cold weather. But despite these arrangements, the weather affects the health of the soldiers.

The Indian Army has four decades of experience in deployment in Siachen, but the number of troops deployed in Siachen is much less than the deployment in Ladakh this time. Acclimatization is carried out under a fixed procedure to deploy troops to high altitudes. Before deployment at 9 to 12 thousand feet, the soldier is subjected to acclimatization for 6 days in the same environment. Four days on 12 to 15 thousand feet and that is 10 days in total. Two days of acclimatization are done every 1000 feet above 15 thousand. Due to the lack of oxygen and extreme cold at this height, soldiers are at risk of many fatal diseases. In which High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) is the most common disease.