Union Home Minister addresses 62nd Raising Day of ITBP in Doon
By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 10 Nov: Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah addressed the 62nd Raising Day function of the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) as the Chief Guest, here, today. On this occasion, a Raising Day Parade was also organised which was inspected by Shah. On this occasion, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, Cabinet Ministers Ganesh Joshi, Dhan Singh Rawat and Prem Chand Aggarwal, as well as the DG, ITBP, were also present.
On his arrival at the ITBP Headquarters at Seema Dwar here, today, the Home Minister (HM) first inspected the parade. Contingents of Five Frontier, East Frontier, North East Frontier, Northern Frontiers, Naxal Frontier, Mahila Naxal Frontier, Ski Force, Commando Squad, Para Troopers participated in the parade. Amit Shah also e-launched several projects on the occasion including Self Sustainable Energy Building (SSEB) for soldiers and drones for supply of vegetables, medicines and other essential commodities at BOPs (Border Observation Posts) located in inaccessible areas. Shah also launched an E- Souvenir published to commemorate the martyrdom of 147 officials of ITBP.
During his address, he asserted that for as long as the soldiers of the Army and ITBP are deployed on the borders, no enemy can dare to attempt to occupy even an inch of India’s territory.
Amit Shah said that, when people light a lamp in their homes on the occasion of Diwali, they should also light a lamp for the brave soldiers of the country deployed at the borders. He said the 130 crores citizens of the country wholeheartedly respect the sacrifice and courage of the soldiers. The Home Minister said the people of the country sleep peacefully because the brave soldiers of India dedicate the golden years of their lives to the security of the country on the borders. He said that the sacrifice of the Himveers is priceless and the entire country salutes it. He pointed out that the Himveers have worked for the last 62 years to protect the inaccessible borders of India with the spirit of bravery, determination and dedication. He added that it has been the ITBP’s tradition to remain alert and protect the country’s forward borders in minus 45 degrees temperatures and not to shy away from making the ultimate sacrifice when necessary. Shah said that ITBP, which started 62 years ago with 7 divisions, has today emerged as a strong force with one lakh Himveers, 60 divisions, 17 training centres, 16 sectors, 5 frontiers and 2 command headquarters. He said that keeping in mind the demand of Himveers under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Central Government has also fixed the quota for the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) of the country on the lines of the Army in airlines and railway.
Shah added that, among the many new initiatives taken, the Self Sustainable Energy Building (SSEB) is very special because it is built at an altitude of 17,000 feet and will become a symbol of self-reliant India in the cold desert. This building is a unique Diwali gift to the Himveers from the Prime Minister of the country and the Union Home Ministry. He said that when the outside temperature drops to minus 40-45 degrees Celsius and not even the petrol or diesel can be used, this building will keep the soldiers safe at a temperature of 18-19 degrees Celsius. He pointed out that this building was completed in just 2 months.
The Union Minister said that Prime Minister Modi put before all the idea of using drones for the supply of vegetables, medicines and other essential commodities at BOPs (Border Observation Posts) located in inaccessible areas and at high altitudes. In the direction of realising this vision, today the first drone has reached a remote area carrying 15 kg of medicines and vegetables, a big beginning. He said that the drone service started today would prove beneficial not only for the Himveers but also for the people of the border villages. Shah said that filling the gaps is very important to maintain security in remote areas and due to this one has to face many problems. Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved 7 battalions of ITBP at the initiative of the Union Home Ministry and this is the first time that 7 battalions have been approved together, out of which 4 battalions will be commissioned soon. Shah said that these 7 battalions and 1 sector headquarters would be established at a cost of approximately Rs 3000 crore.
Shah added that India has a 7516 km long coastline and more than 15,000 km land border. India shares its land borders with 7 countries and the responsibility of protecting the borders in the Himalayan region has been given to ITBP. The brave Himveers have protected the borders in the best possible manner in the most difficult areas. Shah said that ITBP, in its 6 decades of continuous service, has received 7 Padma Shris, 2 Kirti Chakras, 6 Shaurya Chakras, 19 President’s Police Medals, 14 Tenzing Norgay Adventure Medals and many other medals, which are a testament to the gallantry of this force. He said that as long as the ITBP and Army personnel are deployed on the border, no one can capture even 1 inch of India’s land. Now the women are also joining shoulder to shoulder in protecting the country’s borders.
The Home Minister also observed that ITBP’s participation in the field of sports has also increased a lot. Regarding environmental protection, ITBP has planted more than 36 lakh trees in remote and border areas. He called upon the soldiers to associate themselves with the trees, which will not only bring about a huge change and sensitivity in their minds. Shah said that these 36 lakh saplings will become big trees in 5 years and purify the environment of the country as well as the entire world.
He stated that, recently, Prime Minister Modi had presented a new concept to the country through the Vibrant Village Project. Earlier, the villages located on the borders were called the last villages of the country, but Prime Minister Modi went there and declared them to be first villages. Modi has launched the Vibrant Village Programme with the approach of not only sustaining the population situated on the border but also increasing it and providing facilities there like other parts of the country. In the first phase of this programme, the Modi government has strengthened the electricity supply, construction of roads, providing employment and skill development, education and health schemes for 662 villages of 46 blocks in 19 districts with a budget of Rs 4,800 crores.
The Union HM Shah said that the security of the country’s borders is the responsibility of the Himveers, but if these border villages become vacant then there will be a lot of problems in this regard. Wherever the CAPFs are deployed, they should be accepted as the nodal agency for development works. Work should be done to ensure that all the facilities reach the villages. Shah said that, in the coming year, 168 unconnected villages will be provided roads, electricity, telecommunication and health services. The Home Minister said that the country cannot remain safe without the development of facilities on the borders. Before 2014, an average of Rs 4,000 crore was spent every year on the development of India-China border facilities, which has been increased to an average of Rs 12,340 crore every year in the last 9 years under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi. He said that the Government of India has increased the expenditure three times for building roads, BOPs on the border, providing facilities to soldiers and making villages more liveable.
Shah added that there has been a lot of change in the internal security situation of the country in the last 9 years. After removing Article 370 from Kashmir, today the government has been successful in gaining complete control over terrorism there.
It may be recalled that Shah landed here last night at Jolly Grant Airport, here, where he was welcomed by Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, Cabinet Ministers Subodh Uniyal, Prem Chand Aggarwal, Dhan Singh Rawat and Saurabh Bahuguna, besides former CMs Trivendra Singh Rawat, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, and BJP State President Mahendra Bhatt.