Govt to construct 509 BOPs along borders

New Delhi: To check infiltration and cross border movement of terrorists, the government has decided to construct 509 additional border out posts along the Indo-Pakistan and Indo-Bangladesh borders.

Home Minister P Chidambaram said the increased number of BOPs — 126 on Indo-Pakistan border and 383 on the Indo-Bangladesh border — will help in effective monitoring of the borders and the work is targeted to be completed by 2013-2014. Addressing members of the Consultative Committee attached to the Home Ministry, he said the BOPs are now provided with better communication and infrastructural facilities.

Chidambaram informed the Committee that with the increased number of BOPs, the distance between two BOPs would be reduced to 3.5 km as recommended by a Group of Ministers. Maintaining that the guarding of borders is a very complex task as it depends upon several factors, he said the fencing is helping a lot in checking the infiltration but the fence also requires repairs wherever it is damaged by the sand dunes in Rajasthan sector and snow in Jammu and Kashmir.

Chidambaram informed the Parliamentarians that the government was exploring the use of modern technology in border management through proper fencing, flood lights and other latest technologies available in this field. He said the experiences of advanced countries are also being studied for better management of borders.

The Home Minister said the constraint of resources could be a problem for border management earlier but now adequate resources are being provided and low cost technology and better management are being explored for better management. Chidambaram said the private land beyond the fence is being managed by the border area people with the help and assistance of authorities concerned.

Referring to the Border Area Development Programme (BADP), he informed the MPs that Rs 990 crore has been allocated for BADP during 2012-13 which is Rs 90 crore more than last year`s allocation. The BADP covers 358 blocks of 96 border districts of 17 states located along the international land border. The programme is a 100 per cent Centrally-sponsored scheme. Funds are provided to the states as a non-lapsable special central assistance for execution of projects relating to infrastructure, livelihood, education, health, agriculture and allied sector.

Funds are released to the states in two instalments i.e. first instalment of 90 per cent and second of 10 per cent amount of the allocation. Chidambaram also informed the Parliamentarians that border area management is possible only when economic and infrastructural development takes place in the border areas. The issues of security of coastal area, narcotic drugs, fake Indian currency notes and insurgency related issues were also discussed by the members.