Guwahati: A considerable push is being given to border infrastructure in terms of connectivity and habitat.
Following the Indigenous Research and Development Programme under which a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Eastern Army Command and IIT Guwahati, construction of living quarters and other infrastructure is picking up pace.
The MoU signed earlier in July this year entails developing cost-effective and sustainable defence infrastructure for the Army.
IIT-Guwahati constructed and presented a 3D- printed sentry post for the Indian Army on October 6.
The 3D-printed sentry post, the first of its kind in the region, is modular and can be transported to the site and assembled.
A first-of-its-kind integrated project was first envisaged in Western Arunachal Pradesh
in November 2021. The plan was to create a model post for troops on the front lines as
an integrated project keeping in mind space, essential troop comfort, weather
protection, amenities like running water, power requirements, safety, and connectivity.
The model post was conceptualised as a hi-tech project that would be modern, self-reliant, and equipped with hybrid renewable energy sources.
There were numerous challenges including connectivity to the far-off location. Problems such as transportation of construction materials, limited construction period due to continued bad weather, and visibility persisted.
Construction of double-storey living shelters without heavy cranes and machinery was not feasible due to the terrain.
Continuous rainfall posed as a challenge by limiting concrete constructions at high altitudes. This challenge was obviated by using quick-setting compounds. The Indian Army has also started using several home-grown technologies suited for Indian conditions such as Ultra High-Performance Cement (UHPC ).
UHPC plates of any size can be cast in situ or precast, reducing the overall construction time while enabling portability and enhanced protection.
The collaboration with IIT-Guwahati to use 3-D printing technology is being explored to shorten the construction time in field conditions.
Bamboo is also being used in an ingenious manner as bamcrete. Bamboo-reinforced concrete frames are most suitable for creating infrastructure in operational
areas. It can also be effectively used for rapid infrastructure development, especially in Northeastern states due to its low cost and easy availability.
There are plans to further evolve the design and concept of the model post and replicate it all along the frontline at many places across all regions.
According to Army sources, the most important benefit of these posts will be seen in higher troop morale and self-esteem especially when the Chinese have been constructing modern military infrastructure at a rapid pace along our northern borders.
Also read | Insurgency brought down in NE, law and order improved significantly: Rajnath