Centre okays 12 new SSB battalions

Greater Kashmir

The government has sanctioned a dozen fresh SSB battalions, comprising over 13,000 personnel for the Nepal and Bhutan borders guarding force, to “fortify” defences along these fronts including the tri-junction area in Sikkim that adjoins Bhutan and Tibet, officials said.

Though the Union Home Ministry has denied creation of a new field frontier for the border force, it has allowed the SSB to create one out of three new sector — responsible for the operations of about 5-6 battalions — and it is expected to come up in the Delhi-NCR region.

The Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), with an estimated strength of about 90,000 personnel, is the designated force to guard the open Indian fronts with Nepal (1,751 km) and Bhutan (699 km). SSB Director General (DG) Kumar Rajesh Chandra told PTI that the 12 new battalions will be raised in phases, three units each over the next four years. The SSB chief added that the government has also sanctioned a total of 548 posts to the force for deployment at four ICPs (integrated check posts) along the Nepal border out of which two are already operational at Jogbani and Raxaul (both in Bihar).