India’s Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has censured the Indian Army (IA) for enduring shortages of essential high-altitude clothing, equipment, and rations for soldiers posted in the disputed Himalayan region of Siachen, which borders Pakistan and China, an audit report tabled in parliament on 3 February revealed.
In the report the CAG stated that these “acute” deficiencies persisted for up to four years until 2018, pointing out that shortages of snow goggles ranged between 62% and 98%, while the lack of snow boots compelled soldiers on the Siachen Glacier to use ‘recycled’ footwear.
The audit further criticised the IA for purchasing 31,779 “substandard” sleeping bags at inflated rates, in addition to acquiring “inferior” backpacks that failed to meet the stipulated specifications.
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