1.2 lakh thermal wear, 100 toilets: Extra forces gear up for Valley winter

Centre has deployed 70,000 extra troops in Valley. (File)

OVER 1,20,000 items of thermal inner wear, more than 60,000 parka jackets, sleeping bags and blankets, close to 70 insulated pre-fabricated barracks with accommodation for 40 in each, more than 1,500 bukharis (traditional heaters), over 100 specially-designed toilets, hundreds of common bath spaces, thousands of litres of kerosene and miles of tin sheet.

This is how about 70,000 additional security forces deployed in the Valley, following the August 5 abrogation of Article 370, are preparing for the winter.

Since the Centre’s decision, it has dispatched more than 700 companies of paramilitary forces drawn from the CRPF, BSF, SSB and ITBP to Kashmir to maintain law and order. These are in addition to the over 60,000 paramilitary personnel who are stationed in the Valley year-round.

With Delhi giving no signal on reduction of troops, a senior officer of the CAPF said: “The last time I asked Delhi how long the additional troops were supposed to be here, I was told not to ask this question before next April. So we have to prepare for a long winter, where we will be largely fighting the elements.”

The additional troops have been living in tents, government facilities, under-construction buildings, warehouses, abandoned homes and yatri camps. “None of these are suitable for winter. A very harsh winter will set mid-November onward. So we are running against time to erect suitable accommodation and…

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