New Delhi: Expensive and sleek snow scooters, usually found at ice-capped tourist spots for adventure sport lovers, have for the first time being inducted for patrol by ITBP troops along the Sino-Indian frontier.
Five of these powerful scooters, procured from a US-based firm, have been deployed at high-altitude border locations of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) in Ladakh, Uttarakhand and Sikkim that overlook the Chinese PLA deployment on the other side.
Officials said the modern scooters, all costing around a crore, can seat two personnel (driver and pillion rider) with their rifle and ammunition in tow and can negotiate a 45 degree slope on the hills and are supported by chaincase belts to help the 278 kg machine glide smooth and cut through the ice.
The force, as part of bolstering its capabilities to effectively secure the 3,488km border, had last year procured over six dozen SUVs and sent them to far-flung border areas for patrol and transport.
This is the first time that such scooters, used for tourist purposes in the upper reaches of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh and by defence forces for training, have been procured and inducted for operational roles by Indian Security forces.
“These snow scooters have been procured as part of the modernisation of the force to better equip the personnel on ground in rendering their duties in the hard areas they serve.
These will act as force multipliers,” ITBP spokesperson Deputy Commandant Vivek K Pandey said.
The black and white scooters, 325 mm in length, are powered by hydraulic brakes for effective ground control and its carbureted ignition system can hold over 41 litres of fuel in one go and are one the most modern variants of such patrol vehicles produced in the world and used by global security forces who have icy terrains to guard. .