NEW DELHI: Citing the strategic significance of Siachen, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Friday said that the glacier was an important area to secure, adding that the government would ensure proper compensation to all the soldiers who work in difficult terrain.
“From strategic point of view, it is very important for us to secure the Siachen area. I know we are paying a price for that, but we need to maintain this position in the Siachen Glacier,” Parrikar said in the Lok Sabha.
Saluting the brave soldiers, Parrikar added that the government would ensure giving proper compensation to all those working in difficult terrains.
“If you vacate this Siachen and enemy occupies that, it will be impossible to recover it, we will have to lose many lives to recover it again,” he added.
Parrikar had earlier ruled out dislodging troops from Siachen Glacier citing the strategic significance.
Acknowledging that "there are costs" of maintaining presence at the glacier, he said the number of casualties has come down to around 10-14 a year in the last decade.
Of these deaths, 8-9 deaths on average are because of ‘accidents such as falling into snowy ditches’, while only one or two deaths happen because of high altitude-sickness or cold, he said.