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Current Affairs

Significance of Chushul

Date: 09 September 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

The Chushul sub-sector has come into focus in the standoff between the Indian and PLA troops following the movement that took place on the intervening night of August 29 and 30.

 

Details

  • The Chushul sub-sector lies south of Pangong Tso in eastern Ladakh. It comprises high, broken mountains and heights of Thatung, Black Top, Helmet Top, Gurung Hill, and Magger Hill besides passes such as Rezang La and Rechin La, the Spanggur Gap, and the Chushul valley.

  • Situated at a height of over 13,000 feet close to the LAC, the Chushul Valley has a vital airstrip that played an important role even during the 1962 War with China.

  • Chushul is one among the five Border Personnel Meeting points between the Indian Army and the People’s Liberation Army of China.

  • Chushul enjoys tremendous strategic and tactical importance because of its location and terrain, which make it a centre for logistics deployment.

  • This sector has plains that are a couple of kilometres wide, where mechanised forces, including tanks, can be deployed. Its airstrip and connectivity by road to Leh add to its operational advantages.

  • Indian troops have now secured the ridgeline in this sub-sector that allows them to dominate the Chushul bowl on the Indian side, and Moldo sector on the Chinese side.

  • They also have a clear sight of the almost 2-km-wide Spanggur gap, which the Chinese used in the past to launch attacks on this sector in the 1962 War.

  • India’s move has neutralised the advantage that China gained when it secured areas between Finger 4 and Finger 8 on the northern bank of the Pangong Tso.

  • The harsh winter that lasts for eight months of the year poses a big challenge. It is very difficult to dig in, and make shelters on the ridgeline.  The Pangong Tso also freezes, making movement between its north and south banks possible.