For the first time after he assumed office as Defence Minister in UPA-II last year, A.K. Antony will spend time in Siachen and interact with defence personnel, who guard the icy heights, during his visit to Jammu Kashmir on June 21,22.
The trip will also take him to Nyoma.
One of the thrust areas of the Minister is to raise the living standards of troops including quality of food.
Earlier this year, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament commented on procurement of special clothing and mountaineering equipment for troops posted in places like Siachen, where extreme cold climate conditions prevail.
The PAC expressed dismay that even though the army headquarters had been procuring the clothing items for over two decades, the procedure for formulation of technical specifications, evaluation of offers and selection of vendors was not streamlined so far.
“The whole approach towards procurement of such supply appears causal so that neither quality nor timely availability of critical items could be ensured, thereby compromising safety as well as comfort of the troops deployed in harsh climatic conditions,'' the report noted.
Interestingly, Mr. Antony's itinerary includes a trip to the Nyoma Advanced Landing Ground (ALG), 23 km from the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh.