In order to plug loopholes in the porous and unfenced borders along Pakistan and Bangladesh, India will soon set up a 'smart fence' mechanism as part of an over Rs 4,500-crore modernisation plan being implemented by the Border Security Force.
The country's largest border guarding force, with over 2.5 lakh personnel under its command, has recently begun the trial of these sophisticated and technical smart fencing systems in a four-km stretch in Jammu and Punjab sectors where fencing with barbed wires is not possible due to difficult topography or inclement weather.
The BSF, in a maiden initiative, is also undertaking an ambitious upgradation of its surveillance equipment, guns and artillery to effectively secure over 7,000 km-long border on the western and eastern flanks of the country.
"We need to upgrade and modernise everything from our weaponry and communication devices to our infrastructure facilities. We have a modernisation plan and a budget of over Rs 4,500 crore which will run for a five-year period," BSF Director General D K Pathak said ahead of the forces' 49th Raising Day on December 1.
He said that the BSF is looking for "technical solutions where fencing is not possible" which includes testing of foreign-made gadgets.
"We had floated global tenders (to procure these items)... We have identified some of them (equipment) and we will implement some of them soon," Pathak said.
The BSF chief, whose force guards the Indo-Pak and Indo-Bangla borders with varied patches of riverine, marshy and desert area, said the force is aiming to "increase its capabilities and procure unmanned aerial vehicles and surveillance equipments."
At present about 15 per cent of the Indo-Pak border and about 35 per cent of the Indo-Bangladesh frontier is unfenced.
Officials said the force is procuring a smart 'motion sensor alarm' which blips and alerts border guards in case there is a movement along the unfenced stretch of the frontier which is located in difficult terrain. A similar laser-guided gadget is being put to test to detect hidden tunnels in border areas and undulating land.