ISI agents and smugglers are increasingly exploiting the area for illegal activities taking advantage of the non-deployment of BSF in certain difficult stretches of the border. Taking advantage of the non-deployment of BSF in certain difficult stretches of the Indo-Pak border in Gujarat, ISI agents and smugglers are increasingly exploiting the area for illegal activities.
Security forces face a lot of problems while manning the border in Gujarat and Rann of Kutch as harsh climate makes the terrain non-negotiable during monsoon and post-monsoon months, according to sources in the security establishment.Since proper border domination is not possible, the area is increasingly being exploited by smugglers and ISI agents for their nefarious activities, they told PTI here. In order to check their activities, the Union Home Ministry has approved a Rs.380 crore proposal for fencing and floodlighting of 310 km of the Gujarat border.
Sources said that 217 km of fencing and 178 km of the remaining floodlighting has been completed till March this year and work on the remaining portion was under progress. The entire work, which was targeted to be completed by March 31, 2007, got delayed due to unprecedented rains in Gujarat last year. While the fencing is being done by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) and National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC), the floodlighting has been entrusted to the CPWD.
As a result of the fencing and floodlighting of the Gujarat sector, terrorists and anti-national activities from across the border have been checked to a large extent, the sources said.The Indo-Pak border in Gujarat extends from the mouth of Sir Creek to the tri-junction of the Mavasari in Banaskantha district of Gujarat and Bakasur in Barmer district of Rajasthan, and the 508 km length is known as the Rann of Kutch. The BSF border outposts are situated 20 km to 50 km away from the international border. Sources pointed out that with the sealing of the border in Punjab and Rajasthan, the vulnerability of the Gujarat border to infiltration and other illegal cross-border activities has increased.It was with a view to prevent the exploitation of the Gujarat border by anti-India elements that the BSF proposed construction of fence, floodlighting and building of border roads in feasible stretches in the Gujarat sector to facilitate the forward shifting of BSF posts towards the border.
In the entire Punjab sector, 461 km of the border has been fenced and floodlit at a cost of Rs.147.65 crore. Similarly, in Rajasthan 1,048 km has been fenced and 1,023 km floodlit at a cost of Rs.401.64 crore. Besides, 275 km of border roads have been constructed along the Rajasthan border to facilitate patrolling by BSF, they said.Because of these measures, the sources said terrorist and anti-national activities from across the border have been checked to a large extent. The fencing and floodlighting is being maintained by BSF.
On the international border in Jammu, fencing of the total 180 km has been completed while out of 195.8 km to be floodlit, work has been completed in 174.36 km, they added.
Courtesy: Deccan Herald - Bangalore,India