Drones to keep watch on Bangla border in Assam

The Ministry of Home Affairs has decided to induct Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) besides other technical gadgets for effective border management in Assam along the unfenced international border of India with Bangladesh. The plan to upgrade frontier surveillance comes amid an uproar over identification of illegal foreigners in the state and governor Jagdish Mukhi’s remark that there is no place for illegal foreigners and only the indigenous people of the state have the right to its resources.

Security sources said that fencing of a stretch of nearly 61 km in Assam was pending. Pointing out that the Ministry of Home Affairs has decided to manage about 48 kms of such stretch by non-physical barriers, security sources said that India has more than 4,000 kms of international border with Bangladesh and construction of physical barriers all along the border is not feasible because of geographical constraints like riverine border, elephant corridors, soil erosion and objections from Bangladesh.

Pointing out that the Border Security Force has identified the vulnerable stretches of the border and the gaps in fencing, security sources said that various agencies engaged in border guarding have started using technological solutions to deal with the problem. A comprehensive border management system is being introduced to deal with infiltration and smuggling. The system, which is also called smart fencing, will be introduced all along the border starting with the vulnerable patches. Security sources said that technical gadgets, including night vision goggles, advanced telescopes, search lights, hand-held metal detectors, hand-held thermal imagers, have already been used and unmanned aerial vehicles would also be inducted soon for effective border management.

The Indian government has also started taking steps for strengthening the institutional framework to improve guarding of the border with Bangladesh. Standing committees, headed by the chief secretaries of the states having international border with Bangladesh, have been constituted to evolve a standard operating procedure of the border protection grid. All the stakeholders are included in the grid for proper response in case of a border defence breach, security sources added