India will have a patrol-free, multi-layered smart fence along its borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh by the second half of 2017, the Press Trust of India news agency reported Wednesday.
According to the news agency, Border Security Force (BSF) Director General (DG) K.K. Sharma said the force is working on implementing a Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS) where the security of the two “sensitive and difficult terrain” borders will shift from the regular troops patrolling system to a quick reaction team pattern where guards strike once they notice a blip of infiltration on their surveillance radars.
The Indian home ministry has approved of the project, Sharma added.
“We are making concerted efforts to modernise our border fence. Twenty big companies are currently conducting a technical evaluation for the CIBMS. It is expected that it would be on ground by the second half of next year.
“A few pilot projects are already on … two in Jammu and one each in Punjab and Gujarat where we have marshy areas,” the DG said.
He also said that the aim of BSF, India’s largest border guarding force with about 250,000 personnel in its ranks, is “to modernise itself”, thereby minimising human error and inaccuracy as much as possible.
Sharma further said that once the CIBMS becomes operational, aided by laser fence, surveillance radars, satellite imagery and thermal gadgets, the troops on ground will respond when they detect an infiltration bid in the multi-tier security ring, comprising the regular fence as well as laser walls.
He said the force is also looking into gadgets and securing technical support to tackle dangers presented by hidden tunnels running across the Indian borders.
Sharma said the force was in touch with countries like Israel as well as elite Indian technology institutes to procure the right technology.
“We are in the process to plug breaches by technical solutions at both Pakistan and Bangladesh borders,” he said.
Additionally, Sharma said all ‘intrusions’ in Jammu and Kashmir in 2016 took place from the Line of Control, which is guarded by the Indian Army.
“We do our best to stop (infiltrators/militants). To a very large extent we are successful. This year whatever intrusions have taken place, I can assure you, have been from the Line of Control. I take guarantee that we will not allow these attempts to succeed from the IB which I (BSF) guard,” he said.