Brig Ripu Soodan

Chief Engineer

PROJECT CHETAK

                                                                


General


1.       The Project ‘Chetak’ is a unique Project having the distinction of serving three Command theatres i.e. Southern, Western and South Western Commands. At present, its jurisdiction is spread over three states of Rajasthan, Punjab and Gujarat. The Project was first raised at Dehradun in the state of UP (now Uttrakhand) and was re-born years later in the ‘Thar deserts’ state of Rajasthan, the land of great Rana Pratap after whose legendary steed “CHETAK”, the Project has been named. Presently, project Chetak is responsible for maintenance and development of more than 4200 Km roads in three states and more than 200 Km Ditch Cum Bund in Westen borders. 


Initial-Raising


2.       Immediately after signing of the historic Panchsheel agreement, Chinese intrusion across Nite and Shipki passes in Barahooti area of UP Himalayas, the tension along the Indo-China border necessitated the need for creating an alternate route for logistic supports in the Sector. Project Chetak was thus raised on 01 Jul 1962 for construction of the Joshimath-Malri-Rinkin Road. During the Chinese aggression in Oct-Nov 1962, the Project provided support to the Army by restoring communication on the Rishikesh- Joshimath axis. This arduous task and urgency of construction took a heavy toll in terms of human lives. The famous pilgrimage route from Rishikesh to Badrinath was developed by the Project and inaugurated by Shri YB Chavan, the Defence Minister, in Jun 1965. Tanakpur-Tawaghad road was also opened in 1966 which facilitated pilgrims to visit Mount Kailash and the Holy Lake of Mansarovar in Tibet. The Project was disbanded in Dec1966 after successful completion of all assigned tasks.


Re-Raising


3.       In the wake of 1971 Indo-Pak conflict, the work load on Project Deepak increased tremendously. To relieve Project Deepak of its strenuous responsibilities, Project Chetak was re-raised from 05 Apr 1980 onwards with its Headquarters at Bikaner for expanding and improving the road network and Ditch Cum Bunds in the state of Rajasthan and Punjab. The Project was composed with three BRTFs e.g. 45 BRTF (Jodhpur), 49 BRTF (H’garh) and 759 BRTF (Panvel). Due to work load of ICBR in North & North East, 759 BRTF was moved out from Chetak. The project now has only two TFs under its Command with additional Tech Control of GREF Centre. Col (later Brig) BC Pathak was the first CE of the Project who took over the reigns on 07 Aug 1980. Previous seventeen CEs have contributed to shape the Project to its present stature. Presently, Brig Ripu Soodan has taken over the Command of CE (P) Chetak wef 09 Sep 2016.


Climate and Environment


4.       The AOR of Project Chetak is primarily a desert sector, with temperatures rising above 50 degree Celsius during summer and dropping down to subzero in winter. Intense sand storms are a frequent phenomenon during summers which brings down the visibility drastically. The area of Jaisalmer and Barmer are sparsely populated but attract a very large tourist influx during winters. Sriganganagar and Bikaner Districts have become greener after the construction of Indira Gandhi Canal, which runs almost parallel to the International Border. The vagaries of extreme climate during winters and in summers accompanied by sand storms, shifting sand dunes, scarcity of water and other local resources makes the working environment extremely tough. The challenging experience of working in the Desert leaves a lifelong imprint of a deep sense of professional satisfaction. Linear DCB sector has stretches and alongated line of responsibilities in the Western borders of Punjab & Rajasthan.


 


                            

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