India will have a patrol-free, multi-layered smart fence along its borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh by the later part of 2017 even as 20 big global firms are undertaking a technical evaluation for the same, Director General of BSF KK Sharma said.
Sharma said the force, after getting sanctions from the Indian home ministry, was working to implement a Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS) where the security of those two sensitive and difficult terrain borders would shift from the regular troops patrolling system to a quick reaction team pattern where guards struck once they noticed a blip of infiltration on their surveillance radars.
“We are taking some concerted efforts to modernise our border fence. Twenty big companies are currently undertaking a technical evaluation for the CIBMS. It is expected that it would be on ground by the second half of next year.
“In this regard few pilot projects are already on, two in Jammu and one each in Punjab and Gujarat where we have marshy areas. One project will be done in Assam’s Dhubri,” the director general said.
He said the effort of the country’s largest border guarding force, with about 2.5 lakh personnel in its ranks, was “to modernise itself” as humans have inherent weaknesses and equipment and gadgets act as force multipliers.
The DG explained once the CIBMS goes functional, aided by laser fence, surveillance radars, satellite imagery and thermal gadgets, the troops on ground would respond when there was an alarm of a infiltration bid in the multi-tier security ring comprising the regular fence and laser walls.
He said in cases where the force detected hidden tunnels running across the IB, like in case near the Chamliyal border post in Samba, it was looking for gadgets and technical support and it was also in touch with countries like Israel and elite Indian technology institutes like IITs to procure the right technology.
“We are in the process to plug breaches by technical solutions at both Pakistan and Bangladesh borders,” Sharma said.