The Cabinet Committee on Security cleared a massive infrastructure project for the Bangladesh border last week, a senior official told The Hindu . Projects worth Rs. 4,400 crore were cleared by the CCS headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week, but no announcement was made by the government.
Cross-border migration has been high on the agenda of the NDA government and it was one of the major poll issues before it came to power. Till August this year, the Border Security Force intercepted 1,731 Bangladeshi nationals trying to cross over to India.
The CCS has cleared around 200 km of fencing along the border. Sanction has also been given to construct a 400-km road in the border areas.
Delay in land acquisition affects fencing work
The Cabinet Committee on Security has given an extension to the border fencing project till 2019 as the March 2014 target could not be met due to various issues like land acquisition, forest clearance, rough terrain and public protest, according to a senior official.
Under Phase I of the border infrastructure project, completed in 2000 during NDA I tenure, over 850 km fencing was done. Under Phase II, 1,973.572 km fencing work was completed.
A high-level empowered committee will reschedule the balance work that has not been allotted yet and will expedite land acquisition in consultation with the State governments. The border with Bangladesh runs along West Bengal (2,216.7 km), Assam (263 km), Meghalaya (443 km), Tripura (856 km) and Mizoram (318 km).
In May this year, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh wrote to the respective Chief Ministers asking them to expedite land acquisition so that fencing could be completed in these States.