There has been a furore in Parliament over the army being stationed in West Bengal. Mamata Banerjee the Chief Minister of West Bengal has termed it as a coup a charge that has been denied by the government of India and the army.
OneIndia explains what this exercise by the army really is. Such an exercise is carried out as a routine twice a year across the country. It is an exercise aimed at collecting information of the number of average load bearing vehicles, trucks or buses that pass through a particular area.
Collection of information:
The army stations troops at strategic places at state or national highways including the toll plazas to get information on load bearing vehicles. The personnel have to make a note of the vehicle including the load carrying capacity and also the frequency at which the vehicle passes.
This data is then compiled and the statistics given to the local commander at the Sub Area headquarters. The data is referred to when an operational mobilisation takes place. This data would help the army to find out how may vehicles it may require to hire to ferry troops and equipment. This would be in addition to the army's own fleet of vehicles.
The last time around such a major exercise was carried out was following the Parliament attack in 2001. The army basically wants to know the availability of load bearing vehicles which would be available to ferry men and equipment. The vehicles that are hired would be paid by the army. Such an exercise is always carried out with the consultation of the state government.