BSF to put up smart fence to plug loopholes in border security

BSF to put up smart fence to plug loopholes in border security

In order to plug loopholes in the porous and unfenced borders along Pakistan and Bangladesh, India will soon set up a 'smart fence' mechanism as part of an over Rs 4,500-crore modernisation plan being implemented by BSF.

The country's largest border guarding force, with over 2.5 lakh personnel under its command, has recently begun the trial of these sophisticated and technical smart fencing systems in a four-km stretch in Jammu and Punjab sectors where fencing with barbed wires is not possible due to difficult topography or inclement weather.

The Border Security Force, in a maiden initiative, is also undertaking an ambitious upgradation of its surveillance equipment, guns and artillery to effectively secure over 7,000-km border on the western and eastern flanks of the country.

"We need to upgrade and modernise everything... Right from our weaponry and communication devices to infrastructure. We have a modernisation plan and budget of over Rs 4,500 crore which will run for a five-year period," BSF Director General D K Pathak told reporters ahead of the forces' 49th Raising Day on December 1.

He said BSF is looking for "technical solutions where fencing is not possible" which includes testing of foreign- made gadgets. "We had floated global tenders (to procure these items)... We have identified some of them (equipment) and we will implement some of them soon," Pathak said.

The BSF chief, whose force guards the Indo-Pak and Indo-Bangla borders with varied patches of riverine, marshy and desert area, said the force is aiming to "increase its capabilities and procure Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and surveillance equipments" for aiding its border guarding task.

At present about 15 per cent of the Indo-Pak border and about 35 per cent of the Indo-Bangladesh frontier is unfenced.

Officials said the force is procuring a smart 'motion sensor alarm' which blips and alerts border guards in case there is a movement along the unfenced stretch of the frontier which is located in difficult terrain. A similar laser-guided gadget is being put to test to detect hidden tunnels in border areas and undulating land.

The BSF, the officials said, is also testing laser-guided and temperature sensitive radars that send out an alarm as soon as someone cuts the light path.

Such techniques, they said, are being used in countries like Israel and Singapore to guard their respective borders.

The BSF DG also said there "has been no successful infiltration attempt in the last two-three years in the forces' area of responsibility" along the Pak border in Jammu and Kashmir.

"I can say that there has been no infiltration from our areas (of protection) in last few years. I can say our areas are safe," he said.

On being asked if he meant that the areas guarded by the Army are prone to infiltration, Pathak said "I would only like to comment about my area of responsibility".

He also denied that his force gave an intelligence input to the government that BSF has spotted Chinese personnel training Pak Army troops right across the Indo-Pak border.
DG Pathak said the force has put to test some 'sand scooters' in Thar desert in Rajasthan to aid BSF troops for patrolling and other movements along this frontier.

"After we test them for sometime we will see if we can use them in a full role," he said.
He added that the force seized over 100-kg of smuggled gold this year from along the Indo-Bangla border apart from huge narcotics from along the Pak frontier which is notorious for illegal drugs movement.

Pathak said the force which was raised in 1965 and will celebrate 50 years of its raising next year, has also initiated a number of measures for troop welfare like institution of a unique pension scheme for jawans and officers.

Talking about suicide cases in the force, the DGs aid these cases are occurring "mostly because of domestic problems and there is nothing related to official stress".
"We have found that these cases mostly occur a few months after the trooper comes back from leave," he said.

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