Manali-Leh Railway Of Strategic Importance For Indian Army – Lt Gen AS Lamba

Lt Gen AS LambaShimla: Going beyond a Pakistan centric approach, the army aware of its widening responsibilities, would be logistically empowered should projects like Manali – Leh rail line take off to offset the advantage that Tibet rail line has provided for the Chinese forces, ARTRAC  commander AS Lamba stated here.

Lt Gen AS Lamba, AVSM, GOC-in-C, assumed command of ARTRAC on today and was interacting with the media after taking a guard of honour on assuming charge on what is also the 19th Raising Day for the Shimla based command.Lt Gen AS Lamba taking guard of honour2

He said the national security environment at a regional level was becoming multi-polar and ARTRAC acting as a ‘Think Tank’ for the army was responsible for conceptualising doctrines and policies for institutional training.

The aim of raising the training command was to optimise effectiveness of institutional training within the army, said General Lamba.

When questioned about the changed security environment on the India China border because of the Tibet railway track, he said, the train service had increased the logistic capability of the Chinese forces, which could move into the region much faster than what road transport permits.

“The proposed Manali-Leh railway line does help to give an advantage to the Indian army for limited road access can hinder capabilities,” he said.

The equipment, which a foot soldier carries today, has drastically changed from what it was a decade ago.  Night vision devices and GPS systems has increased manoeuvrability, turning the infantryman into a war machine, said the General.

ARTRAC came into being on 01 Oct 1991 at MHOW and subsequently shifted to Shimla in 1993.

Lt Gen AS Lamba taking guard of honour1General Lamba, a graduate of Nataional Defence Academy was commissioned into the regiment of artillery in June 1971 and participated in the Indo-Pakistan war, later in the year.  Besides having served in Nagaland, Manipur, the General was part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka.

The general officer belongs to the elite PARA fraternity and is Colonel Commandant of the Regiment of Artillery.

Photos by: Amit Kanwar

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  1. Below is the press release by ARTRAC:

    1.​Lt Gen AS Lamba, AVSM had a brief interaction with the media on the assumption of command of the Army Training Command on 01 Oct 09.  ARTRAC being the ‘Think Tank’ of the Indian Army is the nodal agency for evolution of the concepts, doctrine and institutionalized training.
    2.​He said the ARTRAC is mandated to “Train the Indian Army to successfully undertake operations across the entire spectrum of conflicts, both in Peace and War,
    3.​As far as modalities of training the Indian Army are concerned, the General highlighted the systematic route from analysis of the prevailing security environment, capabilities of our potential adversaries and technological upgrades to evolution of Doctrines, concepts and philosophies, all of which in turn are absorbed in the Training Syllabus and disseminated to the environment by our Training Establishments.
    4.​In response to a query regarding priorities of ARTRAC, he enunciated absorption of latest technologies, leadership training, Information Warfare, joint training with other Services as the areas of focus.  Wargaming and Simulation training are optimally exploited in our training methodology.
    5.​On repeated queries on the proposed Manali-Leh Rail Link, the General said that though the issue being beyond the realm of ARTRAC, it definitely indicates the deep concern of the people of Himachal.  He emphasised that development any where by way of rail or road links were part of a natural process of progression, also contribute towards other contingencies.  
    6.​In perception of some reporters, the shift in focus from Pak centricity was towards China, the General clarified that such issues are part of ongoing national security analysis with the aim being to ensure balance in our operational readiness.
    7.​To conclude, the General complemented all present on the 19th Raising Day of ARTRAC and reassured that the training standard of the Indian Army are the best in the World because our training curriculum is dynamic and in-sync with latest developments both in the field of technology and concepts.  

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