Monday, May 4, 2015
Government Fails The Indian Soldier Again, Lack Of Nearly 2 Lakh Bullet-Proof Vests In Army Stocks
Mat 03, 2015
How cheap is an Indian soldier's life? Apparently cheaper than a bullet-proof vest, or so it
In a story published by DNA on May 3, it is reported that though the Indian Army has enough supplies of such vests currently, a large portion of its stocks will be unusable by next year and it will face a shortage of of 1,86,138 bullet-proof jackets.This shocking fact was part of the findings of the parliamentary standing committee on defence headed by BJP
What makes this discovery worse is the fact that this inadequacy is completely due to bureaucratic callousness. The defence acquisition council (DAC) had approved procurement of these jackets in 2009, whilst UPA II was in power. After the approval, Ministry of Defence invited proposals for the procurement and six companies out of Army's 39 vendors responded. But that's where the acquisition ended. Six years and two governments later the Army is yet to get those vests which according to industry specialists cost around Rs 50000 per piece.
What makes it more worrisome is that this figure of 1,86,138 is based on finding prior to 2009 which means it's already out of sync with present demand. According to the report, the present requirement can actually be close to 3.5 lakhs, i.e. almost double the current figure.
It is sad that a government which has time and again said that it will not be averse to any military action in need of the same is not able to provide it's soldiers with the most basic of safety equipment.
(Source : Indiatimes)