The Defence Ministry has informed a parliamentary committee that the panel’s proposed visit to Leh next month to analyse the working conditions and facilities provided to soldiers in high-altitude areas wouldn’t be advisable now, sources said. Members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) are examining a CAG report on the Sino-India Border Roads, and another report on the provisioning and procurement of high- altitude clothing, equipment, ration and housing for soldiers.
Top officials of the government, including CDS General Bipin Rawat, have appeared before the panel chaired by Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on the issue. When contacted, Chowdhury said parliamentary panel members wanted to visit Leh to know the ground realities of the infrastructure and the clothing provided to armed forces posted at high-altitudes. The sources said the Defence Ministry has informed the PAC that it may not be advisable to visit Ladakh now as the Army is engaged in the situation on the border.
They also said there were some members in the panel who were not in favour of the move to visit frontal areas at Leh due to tough weather conditions and as it would add additional pressure on the fully engaged forces there. There are 20 members in the PAC as of now and a majority of them are from the BJP.