GUWAHATI, July 21 - Floods and erosion has put immense hurdles in management of the international border with Bangladesh because large portions of border fencing and roads were washed away by the mighty river Brahmaputra. The Assam Government will soon take up the issue with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Water Resources Ministry and the Central Public Works Department so that the repair works can be done immediately.
Special Director General of Police (Border), BJ Mahanta visited the erosion affected area along the India-Bangladesh border to see the situation on the ground and to hold talks with officials of the Border Security Force (BSF) on the problems in border guarding.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, Mahanta said that around 170 metres of fencing and border roads were washed away by the Brahmaputra in Mankachar at a place called Asmer Alga under the Sisumara border outpost of the BSF. The Sisumara BOP and the BSF along with the Deep Char BOP had to be shifted by the border guarding personnel due to flood and erosion. The personnel of the BSF had to make makeshift arrangements in other places to shift men and materials as the two BOPs are completely submerged in water and only a handful of men were kept in the BOPs to guard the materials still kept there. In fact the situation in the area is such that the river has been divided into three streams and one can approach the BOPs only with boats.
Mahanta said that the BSF personnel working in the area are provided with life jackets and as power lines have been cut off to the area due to floods, during his visit, he made arrangements for generator sets. �I had detailed talks with officers and men of the BSF and found that despite the hardships faced because of floods and erosion, the morale of the personnel on the ground is still very high and they are maintaining vigil along the border despite the challenges,� he added.
The Special DG said that he would soon submit a detailed report to the State Government on the situation following floods and erosion so that the matter can be taken up with the MHA, Water Resources Ministry and CPWD so that the damages can be repaired as soon as possible because the area is considered vulnerable.
Meanwhile, the Border Police is also chalking out a plan to advance at least two outposts of the second line of defence nearer to the international border. Mahanta revealed that during his discussion with the officials of the BSF, they also requested that some BOPs of the second line of defence comprising border police personnel nearer to the international border to improve border management. Cattle smuggling is a major issue in those parts and there are reports that some people living in the villages near the international border are hand in glove with the smugglers. To deal with the problem, it is important that the BOPs of the border police are brought nearer to the international border so that the personnel of the BSF and border police can work in a well coordinated manner to check the menace of smuggling.