The Bhakra Nangal dam is on the hit list of Pakistan-based militant outfits Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jamaat-ud Dawa, an Intelligence Bureau report has warned, prompting the Punjab and Himachal Pradesh governments to step up vigil.
The security around one of India’s biggest dam has been beefed up following recommendations from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, Bhakra Beas Management Board Director (Security) G. S. Wassan told PTI in Chandigarh on Sunday.
“We get annual reports from the Intelligence Bureau on threat perceptions...recommendations are also given to the BBMB,” he said, adding top officials of the BBMB will hold a meeting with Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan officials on July 19 in this connection.
“We have taken care of all the suggestion of the ministry and security has been accordingly beefed up at the dam,” he said.
The IB has expressed concern over the possible threat to the dam both above and under water.
According to the IB, the Bhakra dam is one of the most preferred targets of Pakistan-based terrorist outfits.
The IB report says the LeT has also been training its cadres for cliff climbing, swimming across water and handling of explosives with the intention of targeting major dams in the country, particularly those located in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh.
Bhakra Dam figures prominently on the terrorist hit list due to potential of large scale damage downstream in various states, including Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.
The IB had recommended that the security of the dam could be handed over to central agencies like Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).
The IB had also recommended more manpower and technology at the dam immediately and more watch towers, cameras for all areas and speed boats for security personnel as the present security is “inadequate.”
In light of the reports, the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) has sought modern equipment from the Centre to detect any possible sabotage to the dam.
However, officials said it would be difficult for anyone to pose any serious danger to the dam considering the 90 km radius of the reservoir.
The Punjab government in coordination with Himachal Pradesh has taken adequate measures to neutralise any threat to the dam, they said.
At present the security of the dam is being handled by multiple agencies, including Himachal and Punjab Police.
A report from Pathankot had said yesterday that security has been beefed up at the Ranjit Sagar Dam and its surrounding areas in the wake of intelligence reports about terror threat to the vital installation.
Patrolling has also been intensified on all roads leading to Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.