GUWAHATI, Sept 19 - The Government should use the latest available surveillance equipment to improve guarding of the international border with Bangladesh to check infiltration of foreigners and smuggling, said former Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) HS Brahma.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, Brahma, who had also worked in the Border Management Division of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) during his career as a bureaucrat, said that fencing the border with Bangladesh is tougher than fencing the international border in the western sector because of the terrain.
Brahma pointed out that it was easier to fence the international border in the plains like Rajasthan and Punjab, but because of the terrain, construction of border fencing is difficult in the Eastern sector. He also admitted that because India always shares a cordial relation with the Government of Bangladesh, the vigil was much stricter in the western sector and steps were taken to ensure that there is no power cut all along the fencing in the western sector. Another major problem is that along the India-Bangladesh border, the villages are located right up to the zero line and in some cases, the border passed right through villages. This is not the case in the border with Pakistan as in most parts, the villages are located at some distance from the international border, making the task easier for the border guarding forces.
Brahma stressed the need for using force multipliers to improve vigil along the international border with Bangladesh. He pointed out that modern surveillance equipment is available in different parts of the world these days and Government of India must procure the same to improve vigil along the India-Bangladesh border. He said that some advanced countries even started using balloon mounted or pillar mounted surveillance equipment and the Government should think in those lines to guard the border with Bangladesh. Use of such devices will definitely help the personnel of the border guarding forces to keep a close watch all along the border including the vulnerable riverine stretches to check illegal migration and other illegal activities, he said.
Brahma also expressed the view that serious efforts should be made to improve infrastructure all along the international border. He said that though a border management fund has been created and money from the fund is provided to the Governments of the states having international border that is not adequate for major infrastructure development.