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Bangla frontier more challenging: ex-BSF official

By R Dutta choudhury

GUWAHATI, Dec 23 � The day-to-day complexities faced in managing the international border with Bangladesh are much higher than on the border with Pakistan. Moreover, the Governments of the North East states should be more sensitive to the issues relating to border management. These were the observations made by H Desai, who recently retired as the Additional Director General of the Border Security Force (BSF).

Talking to The Assam Tribune, Desai, who had served both in eastern and western sectors during his career as an officer of the border guarding force, said that the threat perception on the eastern and western borders is totally different. In the western sector, the threat perception is totally different as Pakistan is considered a hostile country, which is not the case with Bangladesh. The terrain is also different in eastern and western sectors.

Desai pointed out that the day-to-day issues are much more complex in the eastern sector as the border guarding force has to deal with issues like infiltration of Bangladeshi nationals, cattle smuggling etc, while, the border disputes are also limited in the western sector. Moreover, in the eastern sector, the people of India and Bangladesh are living right up to the zero line, which makes the task of border management even more difficult.

On the quality of the fencing, Desai said that though the fencing is sometimes submerged by sand in Rajasthan, the problem is worse in the eastern sector as submergence of the fencing in water leads to corrosion and the fencing has to be replaced from time to time. Moreover, the installation of floodlights in the eastern sector just started and it would take some time before the process is completed. The miserable power scenario in the eastern sector is also a matter of serious concern.

The former BSF officer pointed out that infrastructure-wise, the western sector is in a much better position as the quality of the roads in the states having international border with Pakistan is much better than the roads in the states having border with Bangladesh. This helps in movement of men and materials not only of the BSF but also of the contractors engaged in construction and repair of border roads and fencing.

Desai expressed the view that the state governments concerned should be more sensitive to the needs of guarding the international border. Giving one example, he said that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi visits the international border areas quite frequently and the State Government ensures regular power and water supply even to the remotest posts of the BSF along the international border.

Unfortunately, this is not the case in the eastern sector as a proposal for creation of new border outposts of the BSF in West Bengal is pending for the last three years because of the failure of the state government to provide land. He pointed out that the Assam Government has not yet been able to provide land for the setting up of the battalion headquarter of the National Disaster Response Force, while, the Government of Meghalaya is yet to grant clearance for construction of fencing along more than 130 kilometres of the international border.

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— Dalai Lama(THIS IS STATIC)

Bangla frontier more challenging: ex-BSF official

GUWAHATI, Dec 23 � The day-to-day complexities faced in managing the international border with Bangladesh are much higher than on the border with Pakistan. Moreover, the Governments of the North East states should be more sensitive to the issues relating to border management. These were the observations made by H Desai, who recently retired as the Additional Director General of the Border Security Force (BSF).

Talking to The Assam Tribune, Desai, who had served both in eastern and western sectors during his career as an officer of the border guarding force, said that the threat perception on the eastern and western borders is totally different. In the western sector, the threat perception is totally different as Pakistan is considered a hostile country, which is not the case with Bangladesh. The terrain is also different in eastern and western sectors.

Desai pointed out that the day-to-day issues are much more complex in the eastern sector as the border guarding force has to deal with issues like infiltration of Bangladeshi nationals, cattle smuggling etc, while, the border disputes are also limited in the western sector. Moreover, in the eastern sector, the people of India and Bangladesh are living right up to the zero line, which makes the task of border management even more difficult.

On the quality of the fencing, Desai said that though the fencing is sometimes submerged by sand in Rajasthan, the problem is worse in the eastern sector as submergence of the fencing in water leads to corrosion and the fencing has to be replaced from time to time. Moreover, the installation of floodlights in the eastern sector just started and it would take some time before the process is completed. The miserable power scenario in the eastern sector is also a matter of serious concern.

The former BSF officer pointed out that infrastructure-wise, the western sector is in a much better position as the quality of the roads in the states having international border with Pakistan is much better than the roads in the states having border with Bangladesh. This helps in movement of men and materials not only of the BSF but also of the contractors engaged in construction and repair of border roads and fencing.

Desai expressed the view that the state governments concerned should be more sensitive to the needs of guarding the international border. Giving one example, he said that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi visits the international border areas quite frequently and the State Government ensures regular power and water supply even to the remotest posts of the BSF along the international border.

Unfortunately, this is not the case in the eastern sector as a proposal for creation of new border outposts of the BSF in West Bengal is pending for the last three years because of the failure of the state government to provide land. He pointed out that the Assam Government has not yet been able to provide land for the setting up of the battalion headquarter of the National Disaster Response Force, while, the Government of Meghalaya is yet to grant clearance for construction of fencing along more than 130 kilometres of the international border.

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— Dalai Lama(THIS IS STATIC)