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Army, Navy, IAF personnel can use private airlines to return to units, will be reimbursed

According to rules, serving personnel are refunded fare of only Air India tickets. One-time relaxation comes amid heavy troop build-up along LAC with China.

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New Delhi: The Department of Military Affairs (DMA) has said Army, Navy and Air Force personnel — stranded at various locations because of limited available transport during Covid-19 lockdown — will be allowed a one-time relaxation to use private airlines to get back to their units. 

According to a communication to the three service chiefs on 12 June, the relaxation will be valid for a month — from 10 June to 10 July. 

Any ticket, which the government partly or fully reimburses in normal circumstances, has to be purchased from Air India through an authorised travel agency or website. The fare is reimbursed on producing the ticket and boarding card as proof of journey.

Until around 2009, service personnel and government officials could travel by any airline according to their entitled class. The then UPA government later made it mandatory for them to travel only by Air India. 

Exceptions, however, were allowed with due permissions from the relevant authorities.


Also read: Army plans to expand roles for elite special and airborne forces known for surgical strikes


Decision amid heavy troop build-up along LAC

The development comes amid heavy troop build-up on both sides of the 3,488-km long Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China in Ladakh. 

Multiple levels of diplomatic and military-level talks have taken place in the last one month to defuse the tensions at the border. This includes a rare seven-hour commander-level talks earlier this month where the “April status quo” was discussed.  

On Monday, the brigade commander and commanding officer-level talks got under way in Eastern Ladakh. The talks are happening near PP14 near the mouth of Galwan Valley and PP17 in the larger Hot Spring Area.

Ticket bookings only through authorised agents, airline websites

The DMA communication, however, has said the military personnel will have to get their tickets booked using the airline website or through authorised booking agents only. 

They also have to avail the cheapest available ticket in the entitled category among the available airline options. The tickets will then be reimbursed by their respective services. 

“With the current and extended operational deployment of the Army and limited transport resources, it is practical to permit personnel to use all airlines so as to report to their place of duty in the fastest way possible,” a senior Army officer told ThePrint. 

The latest DMA communication comes days after an earlier communique, which had conveyed to the service chiefs that personnel should return to their units at the earliest from leaves, even as much of the branches of the Army headquarters continue to function at reduced 33 per cent attendance and for a minimum duration. 

Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown on 25 March, armed forces personnel on leave were asked to continue on leave and the leaves of those on duty were withheld to curb the spread of the virus.

The Railways had, however, run special military trains for Army troops to meet operational requirements at the northern and eastern commands amid the lockdown. 

In a separate move, the Army is also likely to suspend the annual medical exam of its personnel because of the pandemic and will keep it suspended until the situation normalises. 


Also read: Online courses, non-contact sports — how military training is taking on Covid challenge


 

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26 COMMENTS

  1. Intermediate completed
    Mark list 61% tenth class percentage 57%
    This is reading degree 2nd year close

  2. There were 300 Chinese soldiers who crossed LAC at the site of bloody exchange, where as, there were only 50 Indian soldiers to stop their advancement, as could be gathered from media news.
    If so,why so?
    When the Chinese counterpart could gather steel and wooden batons fitted with deadly nails to batter our almost unarmed ( when neither side fired a single bullet) soldiers, why were not our army appropriately armed to counter that?
    This gives a scope of apprehension as to whether the intelligence failed to assess the situation?
    China is a sly and desperate nation and has not hesitated to betray the whole world already.
    We will have to be very careful and retaliate in a manner inflicting maximum damage militarily and economically.
    Our brave soldiers fought courageously and inflicted deadly and befitting reply and dedicated their lives to maintain the sovereignty of the country.
    Salute to the Army!
    We along with the Whole Country stand by our Brave Soldier Sons!

    • How xenophobic you sound. “Sly and desperate nation who has already betrayed the world”, seriously? I got a bridge for sale, you want to buy?

  3. Sir g jai hind mere papa ka sepna h ki mera beta army me jaye plzzz sir g 🙏 mujhe bhi lg wado

  4. Most of the times Indian defence forces are cooled to fight by that time enemies are attacking. So to bring down the death rate why don’t Govt makes compulsory from one person from each family. Since Independance we are not updated the weapons because of politician. See China and their approach of development. Today America is getting affected. My humble request to Govt to do whatever required to safeguard the mother land, we are with you. Take bold step. Those who are working in defence they are only suffering. It is not correct. Every citizen should contribute for contry sake.. Jai Hind

  5. Modi Government is Very Useless n Weak Government after more than 20 Indian Soldiers Martyred now also they are Only talking

  6. I have been using air gun .22 since child hood and I am perfect at it, want to serve my country as a sniper, would request authorities to present me a chance to serve my nation against china. Thankyou

    • Bhai mei Ek Army Soldier hn, Army mei Noukiri Kisi se maang ne se Nahi miltha hai, agar Aap join karna chahatha hai tho…
      . Aap ko select hona padtha hai. Call Karo mei Aap ko join Karne ki raasta bathana chahta hn.

  7. Sir, how either an young officer or a young soldier can save the honour of the nation. Every possible thing was in senior officer’s hand.s i.e young man can’t fight with blank hands. Reaquired some modern stratigical weapons in hands. But the indian army is just encourasing the rennovation. But not moderisation and procurement

  8. Mujhe Bharat money Raksha karna hai vinash ke liye mujhe kuchh Nahin desh ki Raksha karna Jay Hind Jay Bharat Raksha Mantri e Bada bartan Janti Hai Army Manager Galti Hai Mujhe a is Is Desh Ki Seva karne ke liye anumati e l y Dilwale Jay Hind Mera Raja Hai Gujarat

  9. Wars are always the outcome of failed diplomacy and vested interests of nexus of politicians and arms industry. Keeping the seeds of disputes pending for decades is a clear indication of that . GOD never defined the borders then why try to expand & rule the world.

  10. The Armed Forces should not have civilian employees at all levels, instead veterans should only be employed, unions of labour should be banned and all personnel employed in defense public sector should be subject Army, Navy and Air Force Acts. No caste based reservations be permitted, armed forces and related public sector need the best brains and not those thrust on them

  11. I read in quaint a report calling newly commissioned officers of army as recruits .this is a tragedy of this nation that media is ignorant of the army of an independent nation

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