Pratibha Chauhan, The Tribune | January 21, 2016
With the objective of keeping a closer and stricter vigil on any possible movement by China along the border that it shares with India in the tribal district of Kinnaur, the Indian Air Force is keen to set up their radar near here.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) officials from Kasauli yesterday held a meeting with senior state government officials regarding transfer of land for the setting up of the radar and other infrastructure near Theog, 30 km from here. They are keen that the formalities with regard to acquiring of private land for setting up of the radar is expedited so that they are able to have their set up at the earliest. They are also probing the possibility of having radar close to the Chinese border in Kinnaur.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) had initiated the process for acquiring of land for setting up their radar near Theog more than three years ago but did not pursue the matter further. In fact, the then Deputy Commissioner (Shimla) had got the land identified and the forest clearances had also been sought for that chunk of land to be used for defence requirements.
After the terror attack at its air base in Pathankot, the IAF is keen to go ahead with the proposal which had been lying dormant till now.
India shares boundary with China in the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) in the tribal district of Kinnaur. “The IAF is keen to have a radar and other set-up closer to the Chinese border in Kinnaur so that there can be closer vigil and faster communication which is presently done from Ambala,” said sources.
There has been an instance when two Chinese helicopters entered the Indian air space in Kinnaur. It took some time before this violation could be communicated and action could be taken. The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) guards the border with China in Kinnaur.
Intelligence agencies have been stressing on India strengthening its communication network and other infrastructure along the Chinese border in Kinnaur. Though trade between India and China has resumed along the Shipki La Pass in Kinnaur, till date no Chinese trader has been allowed to enter India. While in sharp contrast to the poor roads and communication network in the border villages of Kinnaur, the roads and other infrastructure is excellent in the villages on the Chinese side.