Government on Wednesday approved a Rs. 11,000-crore project for modernisation of central paramilitary forces, including ITBP which guards the now tense Sino-Indian border.

The high-powered Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, cleared the much awaited projected which will be implemented in five years beginning this fiscal.

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), National Security Guard (NSG) and Assam Rifles will benefit under the plan which was awaiting approval from CCS.

Sources said the standoff along the Sino-Indian border in Ladakh, which is being guarded by the ITBP, is believed to have prompted the CCS to clear the project which is already delayed by a year.

The modernisation will ensure that the forces have better arms, ammunition, night vision devices, patrolling equipment, vehicles and other infrastructural upgrade.

The CRPF is primarily deployed for internal security, law and order maintenance and anti-Naxal operations. The BSF guards the Indo-Pakistan and Indo-Bangladesh borders besides helping in internal security duties.

The SSB protects the Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan frontiers. The CISF primarily guards country’s civil airports and major installations, including in nuclear and aero space domain.

The NSG is a specialist counter-terror force while Assam Rifles guards the Indo-Myanmar border and is deployed in counter-insurgency operations in the Northeast.

The combined strengthen of all central paramilitary forces is around eight lakh personnel.

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