Bridging infrastructure gap major challenge for armed forces: Lt Gen Michael Mathews

Corps of Engineers to celebrate its 237th Raising Day on Saturday

Written by Sushant Kulkarni | Pune | Published: November 16, 2017 11:09:31 am
army corps, indian army, 237th raising day, cme, college of military engineering, lt michael mathews, indian express A team of soldiers from the Corps of Engineers conducts a prodding operation to detect land mines, during a demonstration at the College of Military Engineering on Wednesday. (Sandip Daundkar)

As the Corps of Engineers of the Indian Army celebrates its 237th Raising Day this week, the Commandant of its Alma Mater, the College of Military Engineering (CME), Lieutenant General Michael Mathews said that bridging the infrastructure gap for the armed forces is one of the key challenges before the Corps.

The Corps of Engineers will be celebrating its 237th Corps day on Saturday, November 18. The CME, which is known as the Alma Mater of all officers of the Corps, is the premier technical training institute of the Indian Army. It provides training support to all the four pillars of the Corps — Combat Engineers, Military Engineering Services, Border Roads and Military Survey.

Interacting with reporters days before the upcoming celebration, Lieutenant General Mathews, when asked about the challenges before the Corps considering the current security scenario, said, “Our main job is combat support, which implies supporting the other arms in the combat area. The key challenge in this regard is upgrading our equipment profile. We have to keep upgrading to match with the latest technologies across the world. Another challenge we are looking at is in the Military Engineering Services or MES, which is the main agency as far as infrastructure is concerned for all the three services, Army, Navy and the Air Force. About 35 to 40 per cent of the infrastructure is yet to come up. So, the challenge is to bridge this gap and make the infrastructure available for the triservices.”

He added, “The third challenge is building border roads. The Border Road Organisation is building roads on all the frontiers, but vagaries of the weather pose challenges. Throughout the year, there is a very short time for work, so technology is the solution and we are looking at technology enhancement.”

In the backdrop of the raising day, various demonstrations of the vast amount of engineering equipment of the CME have been organised. On Wednesday, a live demonstration of mine removal and mine laying was held, along with a display of the various mobile bridging systems used by the Indian Army, including the indigenous Sarvatra bridge.

CME conducts about 130 courses for junior commissioned officers and officers of other ranks, and trains over 3,700 individuals, along with over 175 from friendly foreign countries. The MTech and BTech courses in Civil, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering disciplines are the premier courses conducted here, and the college is affiliated to Jawaharlal Nehru University.

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