The 'Corps of Engineers' trace their roots to the medieval pioneers renowned for constructing 'Saps' or trenches, which permitted the breaching of invincible forts & walled cities. The genesis of Corps dates back to 1780 when two regular pioneer companies were raised in the Madras Presidency Army. Subsequently the Companies under Bengal and Bombay Presidency were raised as the Bengal & Bombay Sappers respectively. The three hitherto separate 'Sapper and Miner Groups' were amalgamated into the British Indian Army in 1858 and on November 18, 1932 were rechristened as part of newly raised Corps of Engineers.
Efforts to enhance the operational capability have borne fruit with the induction of Surface Mine Clearance System, Dual Technology Mine Detectors, 5m Short Span Bridge and 7/12 Ton Tracked Excavators. The 'Make in India' project of upgraded Assault Track Way continues to lead the way and project sanction order has been issued to the selected development agencies. Contract for 10 m Short Span Bridge has also been concluded.
Indian Army has always been one of the first responders during the natural calamities. During the recent floods that struck Kerala, 14 Engineer Task Forces worked perseveringly in the face of tormenting odds to provide relief assistance to the displaced population in Kerala and Karnataka in August 2018. These Task Forces rescued more than 7,000 civilians, distributed 42 Tons of relief material and opened two critical road axes connecting Munnar and Palakkad.
The Sappers have also constructed three Foot Over Bridges at Elphinstone Road, Currey Road and Ambivali Railway Stations in Mumbai. The onerous task was executed in the most expeditious manner and the bridges were opened for public use on February 28, 2018.
Infrastructure along the Borders and the Hinterland
The MES, a premier construction agency and one of the pillars of Corps of Engineers supports the 'Armed Forces' capability development initiatives by development of strategic and the operational infrastructure other than major roads. It is also responsible for addressing the administrative and habitation related requirements for all three Services and the associated organisations of the Ministry of Defence (MoD). As part of an ongoing effort, seven Advance Landing Grounds (ALGs) along with supporting infrastructure and helipads were constructed on a fast track basis. Phase I was completed on March 31, 2018, at an approximate cost of ` 1200 crore, with the operationalization of the helipad at Tawang.
MES is also undertaking several measures in the field of energy conservation, use of new & renewable energy and green technology. Implementation of Green Building Norms with additional 10% Plinth area rates and minimum three star rating has been approved by MoD. Towards this, 150 MW Solar Energy Power projects are being undertaken to be completed by March 2019, in an effort, to reduce the national carbon footprint. To augment the energy conservation efforts measures such as LED lighting and GRIHA norms are being incorporated in all new projects.
Under the 'Married Accommodation Project' (MAP), 85305 dwelling units are to be constructed in the third and final phase for which planning is underway.
New technologies are being adopted in Phase III to develop integrated, self-sustaining, landscaped mini townships conforming to eco-friendly and energy efficient green norms and smart city features.
The BRO has grown in strength over the years and their achievements include construction of 53,000 km of roads, 632 major permanent bridges of 55,335 m length and 19 airfields in difficult and inaccessible areas of the country. Presently BRO is working on 852 roads (30,118 km) which include new construction, as well as improvement from single lane to double lane specifications. BRO is also maintaining, approximately 7315 km of roads and 5 airfields. In addition, the Organisation carries out snow clearance on 138 roads (4325 km) every year to ensure and restore connectivity between the border regions and the mainland.
In a quest to do all round World Sailing Expedition, Corps of Engineers undertook an all arms Indian Army Ocean Sailing Expedition from Mumbai to Minicoy Island (Lakshadweep) this year covering 1800 nautical miles over 40 days.
Maj Pushpa Joshi and Maj Usha Kumari of Corps of Engrs participated in Joint Army Mountaineering Expedition to Mount Stok Kangri from January 4-15, 2018 and successfully summitted the peak.
In the recently concluded 18th Asian Games in Indonesia, the Sappers secured two Gold and three Bronze medals.
Recruit Ajeet Kumar of MEG, Bangalore won the Gold medal in the 5000 mtr event of the Junior Asian Athletics Championship held at Gifu, Japan in June 2018.
Sub CA Kuttappa, Boxing Coach of MEG was conferred with Dronacharya Award by President of India for his outstanding coaching performance.
Two teams from the Sappers participated in the Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm Car Rally 2018, conducted in March 2018 at Bikaner-Jaisalmer. Both the participating teams performed well with the team from 234 Armd Engr Regt securing the 1st position from amongst Army teams and an overall 6th position out of a total of 32 teams.
Women Officers of the Corps participated in PHD Chamber Women Car Rally conducted in March 2018 from Delhi to Jaipur with the theme "Wheeling the Women to Power." Capt Yeshu Singh, 14 Engineer Regiment secured the 3rd position overall.