New Delhi, Dec. 2: General Bikram Singh was on Sunday briefed in Calcutta on military infrastructure projects and the operational requirements on the border with China in the Northeast.
The army chief also sought the opinion of officers in the Eastern Command on a proposal to have a separate committee on salaries for the military.
This was the General’s first visit to Fort William since taking over as the chief. He was the eastern army commander before taking over in army headquarters.
The commanders of the three corps (33, 3 and 4 headquartered in Sukna, Dimapur and Tezpur) in the theatre and the current eastern army commander, Lt General Dalbir Singh Suhag, briefed the chief on the military programmes along the frontier. The army is now raising two new divisions mainly for the border along Arunachal.
The chief had earlier visited the corps headquarters before his trip to the command headquarters in Fort William this weekend.
“This is virtually a homecoming,” the chief told the officers. “This is one formation that is close to my heart,” he was quoted as having said. General Singh’s tenure as the eastern army commander means that he brings to India’s strategic considerations in the Northeast an opinion that is born of experience.
The army chief emphasised “the need to enhance security consciousness and strengthen the secular fabric and apolitical stature of the army”, the defence spokesperson in Calcutta, Group Captain Tarun Singha, said. General Singh said he wanted to strengthen the relationship that the army shares with the navy and the air force and synergise operations.
In a separate meeting with junior and middle-ranking officers, the chief addressed issues of internal administration. After asking if the officers favoured the suggestion for a separate pay panel for the military, the chief is understood to have said that such a measure was not advisable.
He told them that a separate pay panel may lead to immediate monetary gains but that later there could be anomalies that may not benefit the soldiers and officers adequately.