Centre plans 509 border outposts

 To check infiltration and smuggling through the borders, Union Home Ministry has decided to create 509 more Border Out Posts (BOPs) along the fence separating India from Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Of the 509 BOPs, which will be raised between the existing ones to reduce the distance to 3.5 km 383 will come up on the Indo-Bangladesh border and the remaining 126 on the Indo-Pak border, Home Minister P Chidambaram informed Parliamentary Consultative Committee members.

The border area development programme covers 96 border districts in 17 states, from Jammu and Kashmir to West Bengal and located along the international border of Bangladesh and Pakistan. Terrorists, illegal immigrants and smugglers infiltrate into India through these borders by dismantling or digging a hole across the fencing.

The fences are destroyed due to natural factors like snowing in the Kashmir valley and sand in Rajasthan. “The home minister has said that the increased number of BOPs, which are now being provided with better communication and infrastructure (facilities), will help in effective monitoring of the border,” according to a ministry official release. The work on these border posts is expected to be over by 2014.

The minister informed the parliamentary panel that Rs 990 crore had been allocated for the border area development programme for the current financial year, which is Rs 90 crore more than the previous year.

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