DRDO's FRL improves Indian army's life at Siachen

DRDO's FRL improves army life at Siachen

Wednesday, August 22, 2007 (Leh)

The guns may have fallen silent on Siachen, the world's highest battlefield, in the past four years but the icy weather and inaccessible location remains a constant enemy and an enduring challenge for the Indian army.

But thanks to a combined effort of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the army, there is a constant effort to improve the soldiers' life in high altitude areas.

Located at Leh, the DRDO's field research laboratory has devised ways to make life comfortable for soldiers' deployed in these difficult conditions.

One of the oldest labs in the country, the Field Research Laboratory has developed techniques that allow a variety of non-indigenous crops to grow in the barren landscape of Ladakh.

It allows soldiers to get fresh vegetables locally instead of depending on supplies from the plains of Punjab. It also helps the local economy.

''We first experiment new techniques on our farms and then pass the technique onto the local farmers. This has helped us to reduce the length of the supply chain,'' said Dr Zaman, Director, FRL, Leh.

But agriculture is not the only field that the FRL deals in. After the Kargil War, it found the mules were not able to withstand the harsh weather. So now it has developed a new breed.

The FRL also plays a major part in Operation Clean and Green Siachen.

Synergy between the FRL and the army deployed in Ladakh has ensured that there is a constant improvement in the life of the soldiers deployed in these adverse conditions.