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SOURCE: PTI

The Army has finalised procurement of 12 high-performance patrol boats to enhance its surveillance of large water bodies, including the Pangong Lake in eastern Ladakh where India and China are locked in a border standoff since early May.

The Army said it inked a contract with Goa Shipyard Ltd, a state-run public sector undertaking, for 12 fast patrol boats for surveillance and patrolling of large water bodies, including those in high altitude areas.

“Delivery would commence from May 2021,” the Army tweeted.

Sources said the boats are being procured for surveillance of Pangong lake as well as other water bodies in mountainous areas.

In a statement, Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) said it signed a contract with the Indian Army for supply of the “high performance specialised patrol crafts” on Thursday and that they will be fitted with specialised equipment to meet the requirement of the force.

“These craft will be constructed at GSL, Goa and will be only few crafts in the world for such specialized operations,” it said in a statement.

Nearly 50,000 troops are deployed in a high state of combat readiness in various mountainous locations in eastern Ladakh in sub-zero temperatures as multiple rounds of talks between the two sides have not yielded concrete outcome to resolve the standoff. China has also deployed an equal number of troops, according to officials.

The eighth and last round of military talks had taken place on November 6 during which both sides broadly discussed disengagement of troops from specific friction points.

Last week, General MM Naranave visited high-altitude forward areas in eastern Ladakh, including those around the Pangong lake, and reviewed India’s overall military preparedness.