Seven more battalions to be raised this year: ITBP DG

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New Delhi, May 7 (UNI) Seven fresh battalions would be raised by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) this fiscal to enhance its capabilities and extend rotation of its cadre working under harsh high-altitude conditions.

Addressing the media, Mr Vikram Srivastava, who today took over as the new Director General of the ITBP, said 13 battalions had already been raised last year and this year seven more would be raised.

''With this, the total strength of the ITPB would be raised to 57,715. This would include all the 20 new battalions sanctioned by the government.'' This was necessary because working on high altitude was taking a heavy toll on the efficiency of the cadre, he said, adding ''Now this would help in rotating them besides enhancing the force's capability.'' The new ones require 48-week training before being inducted and by July-August this year, the 13 new battalions would be ready for deployment, he informed.

On his priorities as the new chief of the ITBP, Mr Srivastava said consolidation and expansion would be his priority areas.

''Consolidating whatever is there and expanding through whatever the government has sanctioned would be the stress areas.'' Getting more training institutes and filling the ranks would be other areas where more attention would be paid, he added.

An IPS of the 1973 batch of Uttar Pradesh cadre, Mr Srivastava takes over the reigns from V K Joshi, now DG CRPF.

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