Water surveillance crafts for border belts

Water surveillance crafts for border belts

Punjab shares a 543-km long border stretch with Pakistan. Terror strikes in the past have indicated infiltration of militants into Punjab bounds through vulnerable border stretches, including riverine belts where patrol by security forces on foot or on patrol boats is a tall order. Fencing riverine zones are not seen as a viable option. (PTI File Photo)

A proposal afloat to deploy water surveillance crafts along the international border promises to make border zones less vulnerable to infiltration and smuggling of arms and narcotics. 

The deployment of these aqua surveillance devices for patrol of crisscrossing rivers, riverine areas, shrub weed-infested waters will prove particularly useful in border state Punjab, which is being dubbed as the new theatre for terror strikes and narco-terrorism from across Pakistan.

Punjab shares a 543-km long border stretch with Pakistan. Terror strikes in the past have indicated infiltration of militants into Punjab bounds through vulnerable border stretches, including riverine belts where patrol by security forces on foot or on patrol boats is a tall order. Fencing riverine zones are not seen as a viable option.

The Border Security Force (BSF) is the first line of defence manning the international borders. According to sources, the BSF has projected a need for 14 such water surveillance crafts. These devices will be remotely operated by BSF personnel, who are securely placed far-off in a boat or coast.    

Punjab’s Sutlej and Ravi rivers, crisscrossing the border belt with Pakistan at various points, make surveillance a complex issue. Besides, there are many vulnerable areas infested by marshy layers, shallow depth waters which make for secure hiding options for infiltrators.

Water surveillance crafts, also known as ‘water robots’, will prove handy in such aquatic terrain. These devices will be equipped with day and night vision cameras, besides technology to detect the presence of any humans. Devices will be powered to transmit images back to the control centre. 

Detection during the inspection by these surveillance crafts will be quintessential to the success of the plan. That’s also because it will minimise any possibility of a surprise attack by the enemy through an ambush in these riverine zones by way of an early warning. The devices are expected to have an effective range of about 500 metres. 

Water surveillance crafts will also prove useful in border zones in J&K, Gujarat and the north-east where similar water terrain poses challenges in border surveillance.