DEHRADUN: Uttarakhand unit of Indian National Congress on Friday announced to send 100 'Snow Boots' for Indian army personnel in Siachen.
The move comes in the wake of report by Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) which was tabled in the Parliament on Monday stating that soldiers posted on the world’s highest battlefield face shortages of adequate ration along with suitable high-altitude clothing including boots.
Suryakant Dhasmana, vice-president of Uttarakhand state Congress said, "The government has failed to provide essentials, such as warm clothing, snow boots and food, to our soldiers in Siachen, Gumrah and Laddakh. This is shameful to the core. We are going to send 100 pairs of snow boots to our soldiers. I hope this will help them up to some extent."
The leaders of Congress hit out at the Bhartiya Janta Party-led central government saying that the BJP is only big talks and fails to deliver when it comes to taking care of jawans.
Dhasmana further added that Uttarakhand is a state from where a significant number of population is in the armed forces. "People of Uttarakhand are worried about this. There is not a single district in our state from where people are not in the armed forces. The central government is cheating people of this country," he said.
He also alleged that Ramesh Bahuguna, the government is responsible for the death of an Indian Army Hawaldar who lost his life due to cold earlier this week.
The CAG in the report mentioned that the soldiers were not issued ‘multi-purpose boots’ from November 2015 to September 2016 and had to resort to the recycling of available boots.
The report further added that old items like face mask, jacket and sleeping bags were bought due to which the soldiers suffered and could not get adequate facilities to fight weather extremities of the high altitude where temperatures dip to -40 degrees.
The CAG pulled up the Army for delays in procuring snow goggles, multipurpose boots and other high-altitude clothing and equipment (HACE) for the troops posted in areas such as Ladakh and Siachen, who were forced to use old and recycled versions.