Fencing at various places along the India-Bangladesh border could not be completed due to numerous problems including objections by Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), Tripura's Lok Sabha Member Pratima Bhoumik said on Wednesday (20 November) quoting Union Minister of State of Home Affairs Nityanand Rai.
Bhoumik said that in reply to her question in the Lok Sabha, the Central minister said that by physical fencing and technological solutions 1,880 km India-Bangladesh frontiers along four northeastern states -- Tripura (856 km), Meghalaya (443 km), Mizoram (318 km) and Assam (263 km) -- would be fenced.
"Out of 1,880 km Bangladesh border with India's four northeastern states, around 1,477 km has been covered by barbed wire fencing. Remaining around 403 km would be covered by hi-tech solutions (62 km) and physical fencing (341 km)," she told IANS over phone from Delhi.
"The fencing work could not be completed in all the bordering areas due to objections by BGB. Besides difficult terrain, short working season (longer monsoon period), land acquisition problem, opposition by a section of people are the other hurdles," Bhoumik said quoting Rai.
The union minister informed the parliament member that the government has been regularly monitoring the progress of fencing to ensure the completion of the work at the earliest.
Meanwhile, the Union Home Ministry in March had launched the third smart fencing project between India and Bangladesh in western Assam's Dhubri district.
Called BOLD-QIT (Border Electronically Dominated QRT Interception Technique), this is the third smart fence project launched under the Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS) after two similar projects covering a 10-km stretch on the India-Pakistan border were launched last year.
A senior Border Security Force (BSF) official told IANS that the CIBMS involves deployment of a range of state-of-the-art surveillance technologies -- thermal imagers, infra-red and laser-based intruder alarms, aerostats for aerial surveillance, unattended ground sensors that can help detect intrusion bids, radars, sonar systems to secure riverine borders, fibre-optic sensors and a command and control system that receives data from all surveillance devices in real time.
"The signals from the various devices of the CIBMS would reach at Unified Command and Control Centre to enable the BSF monitor the border on real-time basis. The CIBMS enables round-the-clock surveillance in different weather conditions or even in duststorms, fog or rain," the BSF official said requesting anonymity.
He said that the CIBMS, also known as a virtual fence, would create an invisible electronic barrier on land, water and in the air.
"The CIBMS is designed to guard stretches where physical surveillance is extremely hard either due to inhospitable terrain or riverine stretches."
The BSF official said that besides barbed wire fencing and virtual fencing, flood lighting along the borders in West Bengal has been done on large stretches and some portions in Tripura.
India's five states including West Bengal (2,216.70 km) share 4,096.70 km borders with Bangladesh.
"Due to fencing and coordinated border patrolling by the BSF and BGB, various crimes including illegal trade and cross border movements of inimical elements along the frontiers have been reduced to a large extent," the official pointed out.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)