NATIONAL

Half of India-Bangladesh border fenced

On alert mode:BSF soldiers patrol the Bangladesh border in West Bengal.

On alert mode:BSF soldiers patrol the Bangladesh border in West Bengal.  

BSF to go in for cameras and lasers on riverine stretches; aim is to curb infiltration and smuggling of cattle and currency

Half of the 4,096-km border India shares with Bangladesh has been fenced. Land acquisition is a major challenge to completing the work by the 2019 deadline.

The border runs along West Bengal for 2,216.7 km, Assam 263 km, Meghalaya 443 km, Tripura 856 km and Mizoram 318 km.

The aim of the project is to curb infiltration and smuggling of cattle and fake Indian currency notes.

“We have surveyed every inch of the land to be fenced. We have identified plots to be acquired. We have sent a proposal to the government,” R.P. Singh, Additional Director-General of the Border Security Force, East, told The Hindu . He said land acquisition was a “legal process” and the moment the final approval was received, fences would be erected.

Asked whether the State governments were not cooperating in land acquisition, he said the West Bengal government formed a committee for acquiring land.

Another important issue in West Bengal is that a large part of the border is riverine: rivers running along the border serve as the border. For instance, 70 km of the south Bengal frontier — from South 24 Parganas to Malda — is riverine. “Where fence is not possible, we are going in for technological solutions such as cameras and lasers,” Mr. Singh said.

Asked why fake currency notes were being seized in Malda district, he said the fake currency note syndicates are “...located in Malda and Churiantpur areas.”

BSF officers said that 13 of the 17 security features of the Rs. 2,000 note had so far been compromised. In February, fake currency notes with a face value of Rs. 2.96 lakh were intercepted by the BSF. One person was held.

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