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Surveillance camera project fails

An ambitious project of the government to install high-resolution surveillance cameras along the China border has run into rough weather.

A pilot project undertaken in 2013 to monitor the movement along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) has failed to give the desired results and the government is now rethinking its strategy. China has a robust surveillance system on its side.

In the wake of the 21-day face-off with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China at Depsang Valley in the Ladakh region in 2013, the government had given the go-ahead to install surveillance cameras along the unmanned pockets on the China border.

It was decided that the cameras would be put up at 50 locations in Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Sikkim and Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh.

The cameras were to relay live-feed in a 20-25 km range to help the security personnel deployed there to plan patrolling in vulnerable areas more effectively. The camera was installed at the Thakung post of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) near Pangong Lake, at an altitude of 14,500 feet.

“The pilot project was taken up at Thakung post, which is a high-altitude terrain. The weather is not favourable there as high-velocity winds and frost tend to blur the images. We had planned to link it to the Delhi headquarters, but it has not been possible to link it even with the battalion headquarters in Leh,” said a senior government official.

The official said they were looking at better technology now. “While the Chinese have put up a well-knit surveillance network on their side, we don’t have any such arrangements on our side. This project was essential to build up our own intelligence network,” said another government official.

The Indian Army, which is the second line of defence along the China border, does its own surveillance with the help of unmanned aerial vehicles but this also has its limitations.

“This system would have given us time to analyse the recordings. We decided to test the product of a particular service provider, but now we plan to open the floodgates to multiple vendors,” said the official.

Thakung is a post most prone to Chinese transgressions.

“Somehow, the Chinese know the exact movement of our troops. Whenever our men go for patrolling along the border, the Chinese come to know about it. Apart from human intelligence, we don’t have much electronic evidence to aid our patrolling,” said the official.

India has always maintained that incidents of transgressions occur due to difference in perception regarding the border. After the NDA government came to power, the frequency of patrolling along the China border has increased.


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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 10:42:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/indiachina-border-surveillance-camera-project-fails/article7793306.ece

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