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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Can Army be used for civilian purposes?

    Do you feel it right to employ Army personnel for civil work? Share your thoughts here.

    The construction of the recently collapsed bridge at Mumbai's Elphinstone Railway Station was given to the Army. The Chief Minister Fadnavis, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and the Defence Minister Nirmala Sitaraman announced the decision. The Government of India has accepted the proposal. They praised the Army for coming to the help of the nation.

    The job of the Army is to train for the protection of the country from the attacks of other countries. Do you think it as an insult to the Army to employ it in civilian works? The Army is deployed whenever there is a natural disaster in the country and it is understandable. Is it a good decision by the Government to use the Army for civilian construction works?
  • #613600
    Since the civilian team engineers proved wrong by constructing a sub standard bridge, the Government of India has tried to prove to the public, the efficiency of Military Engineers constructing a solid everstrong bridge for the public. I would feel it as a training for the Military Engineers for constructing bridges. Nothing wrong. It is worth. No insult to Army and its Engineers.

    In fact, all such important construction works should be done by Military Engineering team only. There will be no scandal or corruption.

    No life without Sun

  • #613607
    Army people will be used sometimes to protect law and order in various parts of the country when it is warranted. When separate Telangana moment was on its heights and when there was a bundh in Hyderabad, to face the consequences the State government asked for the help of Army. The central Government had accepted and deputed some force. So I know that they will be used in emergency services in the country also. But this is the first time that military engineers are used for constructing the collapsed bridge at Mumbai's Elphinstone Railway Station. Generally, military engineers are good at maintaining the quality of the works. Probably they may maintain the same standard in these works also. I feel it is good to use the expertise available with them for getting a better work done. If they can train our other engineers they will also become quality conscious and perform in a better way.
    always confident

  • #613616
    Let me give two examples.

    1. In late fifties, Jawaharlal Nehru, the Prime Minister, Krishna Menon, the Defence Minister and Maj. Gen. B.M. Kaul, a totally incompetent Officer and chamcha of Nehru who was later promoted as Lt. Gen.,, forced India's prestigious Red Eagle Division to complete a housing project completely ignoring the Divisional training for more than two years. Later in Sept. 1962,, the same Division, without any training, weapon and acclimatization, was pushed to Namkachu, Tse La, Bomdi La region at NEFA against China. The Division was simply annihilated due to suicidal policy of these three. Yes, Kaul was by then promoted as Lt. Gen. and was Commander, 4 Corps under which this Division was placed.
    2. Just before the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony in Delhi (2010), a beautiful over-bridge built spending hundreds of crores, collapsed. Army was called in and in one night Army built a substitute over-bridge.

    I mean to say that although it is not desirable, during emergency, Army is used to assist civilian administration. This happens everywhere in the world. But nobody forgets the main purpose of Army. But what Nehru and Krishna Menon did in late fifties, can't be excused.

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #613617
    Unlike the Military officers and their Jawans who only fight, the Military Engineering Service (MES, a separate organisation)officers and men are always at construction work irrespective of peace or war. To keep them busy, and trained, it is essential and appropriate to provide them with construction work in the civilian area. Army Jawans are never engaged for the purpose.
    No life without Sun

  • #613634
    # 613616:

    In my personal view, there is nothing wrong in using the Army during disasters. Army should not be involved in civilian works. If there are corruption and poor quality of construction in civilian works, it is the responsibility of the Government to take care of it. Can the Army be used all over the country for civilian works? It is a bad precedent.
    A few months back in another forum discussion, you were very critical of Gandhiji about his suggestion to use the Army to dig wells where ever necessary. It was pointed out that Gandhiji insulted the Army. Gandhiji was of the opinion that there is nothing wrong with using them in peacetime. Gandhiji was talking about the INA. The Army top brass was unanimous in not inducting the INA into the Indian Army. Their reason was that they joined the enemy force to fight against them. They argued that it will bring down the morale of the Army in general. Gandhiji and Nehru were interested in taking the INA into the Indian Army. Nehru had to accept the opinion of the Army. According to you when Gandhiji suggested it was an insult to the Armyand now it is correct.

    " Be Good and Do Good "

  • #613644
    Agree with the author. Army usually steps in at times of crisis, floods, earthquakes or natural calamity or in extreme circumstances of violence. Army's role for civilian bridges would be criticised and it has been done so far.

    Having read through reports, we may not have got the facts. I can glean that the Army would build temporary foot-over-bridge (FOB) which is the expertise of the military engineering wing.The Western Railway has issued tenders for a new permanent FOB, once this is ready, the Army bridge would be likely to be taken down. Looks like a temporary bridge by Army to be replaced later by a civilian contractor for a permanent bridge.

  • #613647
    I think Natarajan is correct. It could be a temporary make shift bridge to meet the requirement.
    No life without Sun

  • #613652
    #613634: I have not understood the comments. I firmly believe that Army should not be involved in civilian matters, except in extra-ordinary circumstances. Army-men are primarily meant to fight external aggression. Gandhi and Nehru didn't understand the value and necessity of the armed forces; they used live in their own Utopian world.

    But what is the relationship of that issue with the subject of the present thread?

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #613672
    # 613652:
    The main questions posed by me are (1) Is it an insult to the Army to be deployed in civil construction works? (2) Is it a good decision by the Government?
    As I mentioned, in an earlier thread you accused Gandhiji's suggestion to use the army for civilian works is an insult to them? Now do you accept that the Governments decision is an insult or not?

    " Be Good and Do Good "

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