Depsang management hinges on two roads & airfield

Ajay Banerjee

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 19

India’s management over the very important Sub-Sector North (SSN) in Ladakh hinges upon a newly constructed 255-km DSDBO highway, a mud-paved airfield at an altitude of 16,700 ft at Daulat Baig Oldie (DBO) and an upcoming observe from Sasoma to Saser La to Murgo.

The Indian Army has, prior to now, war-gamed a state of affairs in regards to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) China, making a westward thrust into 16,000 ft excessive 900 sq km space, the Depsang plains within the SSN.

Map to not scale

On the Indian facet, the PLA’s navy goals in SSN could possibly be to threaten a piece of the DSDBO (Darbuk-Shyok-DBO) highway. It can try to chop off the DBO, which may, in flip, prohibit entry to Karakoram go. The PLA may additionally make a bid to entry the Saser La, a 17,800 ft excessive go within the Karakoram mountains. This would additional open a path to Sasoma and crucially the highway to base camp of Siachen glacier.

For now, all such makes an attempt by the PLA might be thwarted, defined an official. But India shouldn’t cease seeing these as long-term threats, he added. Also, it ought to embrace a state of affairs that PLA’s westward thrust could possibly be timed with Pakistan military’s eastward push from throughout Gilgit-Baltistan in what could possibly be a two-front battle state of affairs for India.

The Indian defensive positions on SSN have been “built” to carry again the PLA with tanks, artillery weapons and the newest programs, moreover further troops. Since May, some 8,000 troops are stationed by India in SSN to reflect the deployment of what the PLA has completed.

Within the institution, it’s recognized that holding onto SSN and significantly the Depsang plains is significant. For this, the DSDBO highway is the essential hyperlink. The new alignment Sasoma-Saser La-Murgo, as reported in The Tribune in its version dated August 19, will take some time to be absolutely prepared. For now, it’s a summer time route. The 27-km strolling observe between Saser La and Saser Brangsa is the problem.

In the previous, consultations have been completed with Swiss specialists for tunnelling below Saser La. So far, the route can be utilized by troops. The provides should come by means of DSDBO or get air-supplied at DBO or if wanted, air-dropped at Chungtash, which is the dropping zone close to Murgo, utilizing the fleet of Chinook and Mi-17 helicopters.

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