Satellite images show China building tunnels | Col. Vinayak Bhat/ThePrint
Satellite images show China building tunnels | Col. Vinayak Bhat/ThePrint
Text Size:
  • 62
    Shares

The new facility near Ngari is the Chinese PLA’s second in Tibet, and stands just about 60 km away from the Indian Army’s forward posts at Demchok in Ladakh.

New Delhi: The People’s Liberation Army has constructed an underground facility (UGF) barely 50 km from the India-China border, and just 60 km from the Indian forward posts at Demchok in Ladakh.

So far, there was just one UGF in Tibet, with another one which could possibly target India being a fair way away in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. But now, thanks to satellite imagery, ThePrint has identified a deeply buried hardened target (DBHT) under construction near the town of Ngari, also known as Shiquanhe in Mandarin, which could of worry to India.

Col. Vinayak Bhat/ThePrint

Construction of this UGF began in December 2016, about six months before the Doklam standoff near the India-China-Bhutan tri-junction in the east. The slow speed of construction indicates that special personnel are being used instead of locals, clearly in order to maintain secrecy and security of the facility.


Also read: This bomber, a mainstay of the Chinese air force, is now being deployed against India


Overview of the UGF

The UGF is served by four large tunnel entrances and three small ones. Most of them have barracks at the entrance for security personnel.

The facilities are in two separate groups, not very far from each other, and connected with proper roads. They have hardened entrances constructed with reinforced cement concrete. It is assessed that all entrances would soon be covered with other material to withstand even a direct hit.

Excavated earth has been piled nearby to avoid detection, but a temporal comparison indicates clear mensuration.

The amount of earth excavated indicates that approximately 3.5 lakh cubic metres of space has been created inside the UGF.

Col. Vinayak Bhat/ThePrint

Construction material

The construction material for this facility is dumped at two places very close to the entrances. These dumps also have two cement plants sufficient for construction activity inside the tunnels.

The material dump has some iron rebars, indicating that the construction work is reinforced concrete.

Col. Vinayak Bhat/ThePrint

The vehicle park and barrack type of accommodation for workers and staff is located very close to one of the dumps.


Also read: China is making a Beijing-Tibet expressway and it has military implications for India


Garrisons

The tunnelled facility has a support garrison constructed in 2016 and 2017. Construction of another support garrison has probably just begun.

Both the garrisons are very close to the main road. The roads are wide enough to let large transporters with big turning radii move smoothly.

Although it is difficult to indicate the exact purpose of this facility with such low temporal resolution, it can safely be assumed that it may be used for storage of missiles and/or ammunition on wheels.

Col. Vinayak Bhat/ThePrint

Get the week’s top science news with ScientiFix .


  • 62
    Shares
2 Comments Share Your Views

2 COMMENTS

  1. i generally supposed the print as a more objective, non jingoistic and non xenophobic publication!
    British Indian army served loyally the king and the queen and the empire!tens of thousands of the British Indian army and the Gurkhas died in the first and second world wars! we had a common commander in chief for the Indian armed forces and the Pakistan armed forces, even after partition! and the Kashmir imbroglio landed in our lap despite the governor general of the queen, the commander in chief of the queen!
    it is understandable we have many who were patriotically loyal to the queen and the empire before and after the transfer of power in India and Pakistan.
    most of our armed forces officers have had the great benefit of being trained at the British armed forces schools for different short term and even long term courses, as the do in USA schools.
    our intelligence agencies loyal worked and still work with British and USA agencies. UK and USA have both been able to convince almost the entire Indian polity, armed forces and administrative services officers that we are an extension of the Western and American empire! we have been loyal to them.we played and play a significant role in the spiriting away of dalai lama to India and formation and running of his government in exile as per the directions of CIA and the British!
    the rogue British saddled us with India china boundary problem. we have been foolishly submerged in the mess created by different rogue British officials in contravention of international legal principles. and we have happily got mired in the border problem with china.
    china has land boundaries with 12 countries! every one except India and under Indian pressure Bhutan, have happily and to their advantage settled their land boundary and demarcated it with modern tools accurately.
    while most of India and Indians treat china as an enemy, china or Chinese people have little to think similarly about India!the word china and Pakistan are synonyms of words of abuse in India.
    china is our largest trading partner today!
    we discriminate against Chinese companies and embrace western companies, we have invited western technology, capital and loans! we abhor Chinese companies.
    we do not learn or teach Chinese language! we do not promote Indian trade with china, other than complaining about gape in trade balance! we do not promote India as a tourist destination for Chinese people.
    china has been a communist bastion since the revolution in 1949. there have been communist parties in India before and after that!there have been so called Maoists!
    yet we do not have a single instance of even an allegation of Chinese communist party or Chinese government in any way helping the communist or so called Maoist elements in India with money or material or training!
    china has unilaterally declared cease fire in 1962 war and went back to where it came from handing over ceased material, men and territory on it’s own volition.
    we still abuse china.
    we have built a fence across our boundary with Pakistan and Bangladesh!
    we have elections and airports and roads and whatever we like in arunachal pradesh, former nefa, claimed by china in principle.
    and we have reason to complain and look with this kind of nasty suspicion about a military facility 60 km inside china, not even claimed by us formally!
    we call it just 60 km from our post and barely 50 km from border!
    look at the record of china! china has unilaterally declared that it will not use nuclear weapons against anyone unless first attacked!
    it has declared that Chinese armed forces will never go outside their own borders!
    what have all the rogue nations Britain, USA, France, Germany, japan, Italy have done to the world at some or the other point of recent and very recent and even current history?
    how many millions of other peoples they have all killed since 1938 or so?
    how many countries they have invaded or made change of Regime by money, coups. USA has openly assassinated presidents and prime ministers of other sovereign countries. and we gladly embrace USA. we are happy to be it’s underling against china.
    china has on it’s own volition inserted a clause about road building in the jammu and kashmir,gilgistan area with Pakistan, stating that the agreement is with Pakistan as they are currently holding that territory and as and when the matter is resolved between the concerned parties, they will renegotiate with the new party that comes to hold that territory!
    it is against the interests of the people of India to have this unresolved boundary issue with china about land in wilderness where” no blade of grass grows!
    boundary between countries is a matter of international real politik based on some settled principle. boundary claims and disputes have to be negotiated, settled and boundaries demarcated for peaceful and mutually prosperous co existence based on such principles in a give and take manner. if china could settle it’s boundaries with every neighbour, ten of them, mostly small countries other than the then mighty USSR, IN A MANNER THAT SATISFIED ALL THE SMALL COUNTRIES,there is no reason why India can not settle.
    international boundaries can not be decided on emotions of masochism.
    other than the stupid unresolved issues about never before settled boundaries between India and china, there is simply no other contentious issue! there is no reason for us to be a pawn of western and USA belligerence against china. we must look after our own interests. this kind of jingoism, xenophobia, false alarms are not in our interests!
    china was almost to be attacked by nuclear attacks by the rogue USA.
    puny and Taiwan, fostered by the western rogue countries and USA shamelessly as real china, Taiwan which shamelessly claimed itself as the china and still maintains administrative divisions and offices as china for all geographical regions of china, now wants to declare independence. china patiently waited till the completion of the rogue leases imposed on a weak china by rogue western countries for hong kong and Macao. it acted with dignity in agreeing for some terms with these rogue nations though it had no such international legal obligation.
    USA the mightiest destructive power on earth threatens china repeatedly. India is not on the list of military adversaries of China. china has shown it’s willingness to keep to the actual line of control established between two countries.
    we must focus on our development and prosperity. not on propping up such a big army to fight no one. the poor Indians are paying through their nose for this army and the hundreds of thousands of retired officers and men of the army. the pensions we pay are abominable compared to what poor Indian people get to live.but rogue parties have competed for the votes of these retired men and their families and put us in a quandary. we will bleed to near death soon!

  2. Ngari actually is the name of the huge Prefecture in the western part of the Tibet Autonomous Region. The name of the town you have called “Ngari” is properly called Gar (it is the historical town of Gartok) and is the capital of Gar County as well as the administrative headquarters of Ngari Prefecture. Gar (Gartok) is very close to Kunsha on Route #219 where a dual purpose civilian/military airport is now in operation. The underground facility described in this article undoubtedly has something to do with the protection of the airfield. Gar County by the way enjoys only a very small and narrow border with Ladakh which sees the two Demchoks (one Indian and the other Chinese) facing each other.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here