New Delhi: The central government on Thursday set a deadline of one year to completely seal the 223.7 km India-Bangladesh border in Assam and hoped the entire exercise will be completed by June 2017.
The sealing of borders including riverine areas and “technological barriers” will have to be completed by June 2017, it was announced at a high-level meeting in New Delhi attended among others by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. The decision of the government comes close on the heels of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government taking charge in Assam.
In the run up to the polls, the party had pledged to complete sealing of the international border with Bangladesh in order to prevent illegal immigration.
“Additional Director General, Border Security Force and Additional Director General (Border), CPWD are already on site visit on Indo-Bangladesh Border in Assam to prepare comprehensive plan for sealing the border by June, 2017 by means of physical and non-physical barriers,” an official spokesman said.
The 223.7 km India-Bangladesh border in Assam should be sealed, the Home Minister said in the presence of Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju, Secretary, Border Management, Susheel Kumar along with senior officials of the department of Border Management, the spokesman said.
However, sources said there are 122 locations (60.7 km.) where there is no physical barrier. “In order to achieve the objective of sealing of India-Bangladesh border it was decided that 100 locations covering 11.9 km will have physical barrier,” the source said.
At the meeting, the Secretary, Border Management, briefed the ministers about the progress of border security infrastructure, programmes of border management and the way forward.
“It was informed that 4,374 km fence, 5,329.6 km border roads, 3,974 km floodlights and 2,420 numbers Border Out Posts (BOPs) have been constructed along the international borders for security of the borders,” an official release said.
The government has also claimed that major impediments hampering the development of border infrastructure have been resolved during last two years which will increase the pace of development of border infrastructure in coming years.
“In the meeting it was also outlined that almost all the remaining infrastructure works at the border will be completed in next three years,” the release said.
The Home Minister further directed that full use of technological solutions be made to secure sensitive areas along the borders. This will involve networking of equipments like high resolution cameras, radars, unattended ground sensors, optical fibres, infra red sensors, aerostats, hand-held thermal imagers and integration of these with command and control architecture, the release said.