The state would soon have two battalion headquarters of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), the elite paramilitary force that guards the country’s frontier with China.
The ministry of home affairs (MHA) has approved the state’s proposal to set up two battalion headquarters of the central paramilitary force in Chhapra and Katihar districts of north Bihar.
This is for the first time that the ITBP will have its base in the state. The paramilitary force had opened its sector headquarters in Patna in April this year. An officer in the rank of deputy inspector-general is heading the sector headquarters.
“The battalion headquarters are coming up in two districts — Chhapra and Katihar — for strategic and logistic support to the elite force,” ITBP chief public relations officer (CPRO) Deepak Pandey said.
He added that officers in the rank of the commandant would head the battalion headquarters in the state. The force has its base in Rai Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh. “Earlier, we had no base in Bihar. The need to have its base in Bihar was felt from the security point of view,” Pandey said.
Once the two battalion headquarters are set up in Bihar, he added, it would be convenient for the troops to move from one place to another during exigency. Besides, the personnel of the force would not have to stay on difficult terrains but would also be posted in the plains.
According to a directive of the MHA, a minimum 72-acre of land is needed to open a battalion headquarters anywhere in the country. Besides, the campus should have barracks for jawans, training facilities, family quarters, officers’ mess and administrative block.
The Bihar government has pledged to provide land for the sector headquarters in Patna near the proposed All India Institute of Medical Sciences or Deedarganj on the outskirts of the state capital, Pandey said. “Both Bihar and Jharkhand-based battalion headquarters would be controlled from the Patna sector headquarters,” he added.
According to sources, the Katihar district administration has initiated the process of land acquisition for setting up the battalion headquarters. The Saran (Chhapra) district administration is, however, yet to locate an area for the unit. On an average, 1,200-1,500 jawans would stay with their families at the battalion headquarters. “It will have its impact on the economy of the area. It will not only generate employment for the local people but will also accelerate the process of urbanisation,” the CPRO added.
The ITBP has launched rafting expedition on the Ganges to celebrate the 50th foundation day of the elite force. The personnel would cover a distance of about 2,525km from Gangotri in Uttarakhand to Ganga Sagar in Bengal and pass through five states.