Army shifting two new formations to Shimla in replacement of Training CommandANI | New Delhi | Updated: 14-06-2019 20:14 IST | Created: 14-06-2019 20:13 IST
Amid protests from the Congress and locals over shifting of the Army Training Command from Shimla, senior sources in the force said two new formations would be deployed there and the number of troops posted there may be higher than ever before. The Army, as part of its reorganisation plans, is shifting the Training Command to Meerut because of its proximity to the national capital and better coordination.
"By December this year, the Army Training Command is planned to be shifted to Meerut. The Training Command in Shimla would be replaced by an Infantry Division Headquarters and the Punjab and Himachal Pradesh Area Headquarters," Army sources told ANI. The sources said the number of troops in these formations is likely to be higher than before and combat oriented troops would be present in the city," they said.
Maintaining that Shimla would continue to maintain its military outlook, the sources said the Punjab and Himachal Pradesh Area Headquarters being shifted from Ambala to Shimla would help in addressing the welfare of retired and serving troops of the state in a much better way. The Congress Thursday objected to the Union Government's proposed plan of shifting the Army Training Command (ARTRAC) from Shimla in Himachal Pradesh to Meerut in Uttar Pradesh.
Urging Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to cancel the plan, Congress MP Anand Sharma wrote a letter to him saying that it would also adversely affect the economy of Shimla and the hill state. In his letter written on Wednesday, he stated, "There will be huge financial implications for relocating of these big institutions from Shimla to Meerut which will have a negative effect on exchequer amounting to hundreds of crores and will not serve any purpose.''
After India's Independence, the headquarters of the Western Command was located in Shimla during the India-Pakistan wars in 1948, 1965 and 1971, as well as the India-China war of 1962. The Western Command was shifted to Chandimandir only in 1985. Ever since its establishment in 1993, the Defence Ministry has over 27 years allocated a large amount of money and resources for ARTRAC, Sharma had stated.