National

Army set to install smart fence along LoC

A file photo of the Fencing along the the Line of Control near Poonch.   | Photo Credit: V. V. Krishnan

With infiltration across the Line of Control (LoC) on the rise, the Army is all set to accelerate work on installing a new smart fence to replace the existing border fence following successful trials.

The existing fence called the Anti-Infiltration Obstacle System (AIOS) is located about 700m from the LoC. It is a double row fence consisting of concertina wire and was constructed between 2003 and 2005.

“The present fence has high rate of degradation due to snow and has to be repaired after every season which costs about ₹50-60 crore every year,” a senior officer told The Hindu.

In addition, he said that over time the infiltrators get used to the fence and have devised ways to cross it.

To overcome these, a proposal has been in the works for sometime to install a smart fence which will also enable round the clock real-time surveillance. This gained momentum after the Pathankot and Uri terror attacks last year in which terrorists crossed the LoC and attacked military installations.

The fence has already been tested and installed along a 50km stretch on a trial basis. The project would be implemented by the Army Corps of Engineers, the officer stated.

“The smart fence stretching about 700 km will have enhanced surveillance features with sensors integrated and also has better survivability,” the officer added but did not elaborate on the specifics due to sensitivity.

Infiltration across the LoC peaked last year in the aftermath of the surgical strikes by the Army on terror camps in September. Attacks on military installations have also gone up dramatically over the last two years. The border fence forms the first line of defence in the three tier counter-infiltration grid.

The new fence would be erected in place of the existing one and is expected to cost around ₹1000 crore. Army sources said that they have received in-principle approval for the project and have been assured on the allotment of required funds.

The project would be undertaken in phases. Under Phase-I, vulnerable areas and where most damage has occurred would be covered. Rest of the fence would be replaced in the second phase.

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Printable version | Oct 20, 2020 1:10:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/army-set-to-install-smart-fence-along-loc/article18340498.ece

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