R C Ganjoo
New Delhi: Successfully, Ministry of Home Affairs has launched high-tech Smart Border Fencing Project surveillance system, named as A Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS) on India-Pakistan border to cover.
The (CIBMS) is the first of its kind in the country aimed at making maximum use of technology to make the security system at the borders stronger and effective. With the digital smart fencing, the borders would become absolutely safe virtually make it impossible for the terrorists to breach it and infiltrate from across the borders.
The two pilot projects, each would be covering a 5.5 km on the BOP (Border out Post) along the International Border in North and South sectors of Jammu region to check an invisible electronic barrier on land, water, in air and underground. It would help the BSF to detect and foil infiltration bids in most difficult terrains. The CIBMS is designed to guard stretches where physical surveillance is not possible in inhospitable terrain or riverine borders.
For surveillance, different devices - Thermal Imager, UGS, Fibre Optical Sensors, Radar, Sensors have been mounted on different platforms like Aerostat, tower, poles used for communication and data storage. With these high-tech types of equipment, the signals and images will be integrated by Unified Command at Control Centre or patrolling on the border. Near to BOP would be and monitored round-the-clock by BSF to take quick action against the threat from across the border accordingly. This system has helped in reducing manual surveillance
The Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) signed on June 6, 2015, between India and Bangladesh helped to create Smart Border fencing model in 3 km stretch from Champabari to Lathi-Tila area in Karimganj district, Silchar. In an interview with NH1news to Commandant BSF, Maithani told that "The term, the Smart Fencing, refers to anti-cut, anti-climb and anti-rust designed to prevent intruders from entering Indian borders”. Connectivity remains the bedrock of more effective transportation infrastructure for India's Act East policy and bringing the Northeastern States into the mainstream of the Indian economy.
In less than 3 years Pakistan, responsible for 2855 incidents of cross-border firing has claimed 109 lives, 565 injured. In 2018 Pakistan has violated over 1,432 times the cease-fire line on both LoC and IB, killing 59 security personnel and civilians. The ceasefire violations by Pakistan on the borders in 2018 has been the highest in the past eight years. Alone on IB, Pakistan has violated ceasefire line 490 times, according to official sources.
Finding gaps in the fencing and other vulnerabilities along the India-Pakistan border and strengthening the manpower, at a high-level meeting it was decided technological solutions to secure the international border. In consolation with the Indian Institute for Technology (IIT), a report was submitted on March 14, 2017, to MHA. “The best technology was introduced by two different companies TATA Power SED and DAT COM of Slovenia for CIBMS. For installation and functioning of the system for a k.m it would cost Rs 3 crores" according to MHA sources. Pakistan too has China's technology and frequently using UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles). "India is under Pakistan’s threat of infiltration of terrorists and violation of ceasefire line constantly. Also, they have adopted a hit and run tactic on the border and vanish behind the dense growth of elephant grass, keeping their targets away from zero lines when they execute their plan," said senior BSF official.
The use of high-tech for border security was being considered by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) since 2012. In 2014, the BSF also submitted a detailed report on CIBMS to the MHA, but no decision was taken to implement the system until January 2016
Indo-Pakistan border runs 3323 km along with the Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir states. Whereas Indo -Bangladesh runs 4096 km along West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram and Indo-China border of 3486 km run along Jammu& Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh. Of a total 2,026 km border in Jammu & Kashmir is vulnerable and the digital fencing technology would be utilised on such long stretches of the borders, International Border (IB) running along 202 km with Pakistan and 740 km long Line of Control (LoC) dividing line between Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistani-occupied Kashmir
And on the Indo-Bangladesh International border of 4096 km with Bangladesh, of which 135 km runs along the Barak valley's twin border distracts Cachar and Karimganj, has foiled the terrorists and smugglers’ intrusion into India. The National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC) and Central Public Works Department (CPWD) have fenced Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura on the Indo -Bangladesh border with barbed wire and handed over to BSF in Dec 2018.
Of 135 km international border in Barak valley, Silchar, 65 km runs along the riverine border of river Barrak which gets bifurcated at Hari Nagar border outpost ( BOP) into two Kushiyara and Surma rivers to enter Bangladesh. The riverine border posts, according to ML Garg DIG, Silchar HQ, have been fenced with night surveillance capabilities and armed with sophisticated weapons
According to him, the BSF has been given the additional task of assistance to The National Register of Citizens (NRC) centres in three districts, Hela Kandi, Cachar and Karimganj since Nov 2017.
There is an Integrated Check Post at Sutarkandi for trade for border trade with Bangladesh. Trade starts from 10.am to 6 pm. It is cleared by customs departments and secured by BSF. Interestingly, in spite of the mixed population, there has been no communal violence since 1947 in the twin border districts. According to reports, a number of attempts were made to disturb these districts by anti-social and anti-national elements, but the people remained calm.