With an aim to improve the condition of troops posted at high altitudes including Saichen, the government will approach Swiss firms for providing expertise in setting up a unit for manufacturing sleeping bags and jackets for soldiers deployed in inhospitable terrains.
During the recent visit of Defence Minister A K Antony to this frontier post, Defence Production Secretary K P Singh held consultations with senior army officials to ascertain troop requirements before the onset of winter this year.
Singh apprised army officials at closed-door meetings about the strategy adopted by the Government to augment the supply of equipment for troops guarding borders at high- altitudes like Siachen, Kargil, Drass and in Sikkim.
"We will seek their expertise from Swiss firms in setting up manufacturing units in the country which includes setting up of duck farms as sleeping bags and jackets are filled with their feathers," a senior official said in Siachen.
The defence ministry had been importing sleeping bags, jackets, gloves, socks and some other clothing material from Swiss firms but recently the director general of quality assurance had found some flaws in the products.
The sleeping bags and jackets were found to have irregular distribution of feathers thus forcing the authorities to reject it. These items were also sent to the Siachen base camp for field trial where also they were rejected after putting through rigid tests and extreme weather condition.