GUWAHATI, Aug 19 - At a time when Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal is pressing the Central agencies to expedite the process of completing the job of fencing the international border with Bangladesh to check infiltration of foreigners, floods and erosion have caused heavy damage to the border fencing and border roads in the Dhubri and Coochbehar sectors under Guwahati Frontier of BSF in the last few days.
Severe floods have eroded the border fencing in several places, while border roads and the PWD roads leading to the international border were also damaged in parts, affecting movement of the security forces.
According to information available with The Assam Tribune, the fencing between Chengamari and Krishnapur border outposts of the Border Security Force (BSF) was damaged in parts due to weed and garbage deposition. The actual damage will, however, be ascertained only after clearing of the garbage that will take some time as it can be done only after the water level recedes. Similarly, portions of the barbed wire fencing in some parts in those areas are still under water.
Border roads were damaged in seven places due to erosion but fortunately, it did not totally block the entire width of the roads. However, improvised fencing erected in the gaps, rivers and the Indian side of the international border roads were washed away in heavy floods, resulting in heavy loss of property, including barbed wire and coil.
Flood water was also flowing over the border roads in several parts and in a 60-metre stretch, the water level above the road surface was around 1.5 metres, which cut off several BSF BOPs and pickets. About 20 metres of border road was washed away near the Satgachchi BSF BOP and water is also flowing over the roads in several parts of the area, restricting movement of the troops. Similarly, a 15-foot portion of the PWD road near Singimari BOP was washed away, while another 15-foot portion of the border road was damaged near Baramircha.
These are only some instances of damage to the fencing and roads along the international border and the exact position will come to light only after the flood water recedes. However, this has become a common feature during the floods and the government needs to take effective measures for checking erosion as it causes major damage to the border fencing, which, in turn, severely affects border management.