PRESIDENT PRANAB Mukherjee will inaugurate a military station on his visit to Bengal on Saturday. Upon its development as a military base, the station is expected to become the country’s “first mountain strike team”.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Governor Kesari Nath Tripathi, GOC-in-C Eastern Command Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi will be present during the inauguration of the station at Berhampore in North Bengal, about 200 kilometres from Kolkata, which is spread over 252 acres.
“The station was conceptualized a few years ago and was chosen keeping in mind the threat perception from China. It is being raised as part of the 17 Corp, which has its headquarters in Ranchi. Both Ranchi and Berhampore will be part of the country’s first ever mountain strike team,” said the senior officer. “The station is 25 kilometres from Berhampore town in Murshidabad district and its development as a military base is expected to play a significant role in the socio-economic growth of the area,” says the Eastern Command statement.
The station is to be developed as a “model military station with state of the art training and administrative facilities integrated with existing natural features.” One of the bigger stations in the East, Berhampore will house 8,000 troops and their families. The station, whose foundation was laid by the President in February, 2014, is likely to become completely operational by 2018.
“It is a significant move. While there are a number of strike units for the plains across the country, this will be the first mountain strike unit of the Army. Troops from elsewhere will be placed but fresh troops will also be recruited and imparted specialized training in mountain combat. The scope of the station will be eastern India, as this will be the first mountain strike team in this region, including the Northeast. The main aim is in case of intrusions from China,” says the officer.