The Telegraph
Tuesday , February 25 , 2014
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Army station support

Feb. 24: The Indian Army is setting up a military station at Nabagram, Murshidabad, to provide “strategic and infrastructure support” to the Mountain Strike Corps coming up in Burdwan’s Panagarh.

The station will come up on 250 acres with an investment of Rs 600 crore and is expected to become operational by 2018.

“It will be a self-sufficient military station with barracks, shopping complexes, educational institutions and a helipad. In a nutshell, it will be a small township,” said an army officer who has served in the Eastern Command, under which the military station is coming up.

Murshidabad was chosen as it is located between Panagarh and north Bengal, both of which have defence establishments.

President Pranab Mukherjee unveiled the plaque at the foundation-laying ceremony on Thursday in the presence of General Bikram Singh, the chief of army staff; Lieutenant-General M.M.S. Rai, the eastern army commander; Lieutenant-General Raman Dhawan, the general officer commanding of Bengal Area; and governor M.K. Narayanan.

“Development of military stations in various parts of the country is important for our capability development initiatives,” army chief Genral Singh said.

The Mountain Strike Corps will be a new formation under the eastern theatre at Panagarh, around 150km from Calcutta.

The newest strike corps is being designed for mountain warfare along the border with China. The corps is expected to plug operational gaps along the India-China border.

“The new division will give India the capability to launch offensive action in the Tibet Autonomous Region in the event of a Chinese offensive,” an officer said.

Another reason for setting up the military station in Murshidabad is that the Indian Army does not have much presence between Panagarh and north Bengal.

“The armed forces play a vital role even during natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes. With a military station in this area, the response time can be minimised in mobilising the forces during such eventualities,” another officer said.