‘Need for developing a border protection grid’
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday underscored the need for developing a Border Protection Grid (BPG) for “multi-pronged foolproof mechanism to secure our border” laying stress on the upgradation of quality of life of the people living on the eastern borders.
He said so in the meeting of Chief Ministers of Indo-Bangladesh Border States or IBB. Saying that the grid would comprise elements like “physical and non-physical barriers, surveillance system, intelligence agencies, State Police BSF and other State and Central agencies,” the Home Minister maintained the BPG which would be supervised by a State-level Standing Committee chaired by respective Chief Secretaries.
The BPG would ensure greater help for the States in the overall border security, said demanding “active participation” of the stakeholders including the respective State Governments the Chief Ministers of which met the Home Minister in Kolkata on Thursday.
Driving home the factor that the people living in the border areas were our “strategic assets” he said there should be an effort to provide these areas and the people with the basic infrastructure, such as roads, railways, health, education etc.
The development of border economy was key to a secure border he said adding the issue required to be handled in a “holistic manner.” Apart from the Home Minister, his deputy Kiren Rijiju, the meeting was attended by the Chief Ministers of Bengal, Assam and Mizoram and senior bureaucrats of Meghalaya and Tripura.
Union Home Secretary, Secretary border management and DG BSF was also present in the meeting. In the meeting the Home Minister underpinned the need for a legitimate border trade and commerce which would be collateral to the new BPG security system.
“India has friendly relations with Bangladesh and all these measures will facilitate genuine trade and legitimate cross-border movement of people,” besides curbing radicalization, illegal migration, smuggling of cattle, fake currency and drugs,” he said. The 4096 km Indo-Bangladesh border covered 5 States of Assam. Meghalaya, Bengal, Tripura and Mizoram. About 3006 km of border security infrastructure had security infrastructures like roads, floodlights and border outposts. The remaining 1090 km were yet to be started.
Out of this 684 km would be secured with fence and the related infrastructure and the remaining 406 km of non-physical barriers covered by rivers etc would be secured by a combination of electronic gadgets like radar, day-night camera and various types of sensors all integrated in a command and control architecture, sources said.
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