(This was originally posted in Economic Times by Rahul Tripathi)
With border tension between India and China intensifying, the Union government has approved all-weather, high-altitude solar power tents that can be deployed at an altitude of above 17,000 ft and can function between minus 35 degree to 40 degree plus temperature, ET has learnt. The guidelines approved with suggestions from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) have been under consideration for the past four years. However, they were expedited after the India-China standoff in Eastern Ladakh last year, officials added.
According to officials familiar with the development, ITBP has been using solar technology at some of the bases but solar-powered tents will help them sustain sub-zero temperatures at very high altitudes. There are nearly 180 border posts along the India-China border, from Karakoram Pass in Ladakh to Jachep La in Arunachal Pradesh. An additional 47 border outposts and 12 staging camps are under construction to provide ration, logistics and a place to stay for ITBP personnel during the long-range patrols along the Himalayan frontier.
“The setting up of more posts is aimed at ensuring that they are not abandoned during extreme snow and cold. Initially, we plan to provide around 50 such all-weather tents. Using technology, the temperature inside these tents will be maintained at 21 degrees Celsius. It shall be able to withstand wind speed of more than 150 km,” said a senior official. The high altitude solar tents, approved by experts, require that their colours should be such that it can camouflage with the surroundings and the material used in the construction of these tents are fireproof.