Unfortunate conditions of troops at Siachen – CAG Report

According to a Comptroller & Audit General (CAG) report tabled in the Rajya Sabha, the Indian army stationed at Siachen is facing desperately poor infrastructural conditions.

The CAG report on Union Government (Defence Services)-Army said troops in Siachen are facing 62% to 98% shortage of snow goggles exposing the soldiers’ faces and eyes to the severe climatic conditions of Siachen. The report also states that the troops haven’t received any new footwear between November 2015 and September 2016 and were forced to use old multipurpose boots.

Most alarmingly, the report states that for troops posted in high altitudes, special scales of rations are authorised to meet their daily energy requirements. But substitutes in lieu of scaled items were authorised on cost to cost basis, which resulted in supply of reduced quantity of substitutes. This has resulted in calorie intake compromise of the troops being as high as 82%.

The report also highlight that the lack of research and development by defence laboratories led to continued dependence on import. At Leh station the CAG found that special ration items were shown as issued to troops for consumption without their actual receipts.

The report has been filed in the upper house but not in Lok Sabha and hence awaits formal release.

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