- 61-km riverine border stretch has long been difficult to guard
- New surveillance system uses indigenously-developed equipment
- Integrates five different kinds of sensors to monitor riverine stretch
A 61-km stretch of a riverine border that India and Bangladesh shares on the Brahmaputra in lower Assam was essentially porous until now, allowing infiltrators and smugglers easy entry into the country. But that's about to change.
In a fitting example of how man and machine can together make the country's borders smarter, Border Security Force (BSF) personnel will now keep the volatile patch under enhanced surveillance with the help of indigenously developed equipment.
The Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System, as it is called, integrates five different kinds of sensors to maintain surveillance over the riverine border. And it's of great importance at this time, when the government has to demonstrate the fulfilment of its promise of sealing the India-Bangladesh border ahead of the general elections.
"Sealing the border has been a long-standing demand of the Assamese people, and this is the first step in that direction. I believe that all the borders we share with our neighbours should be turned into smart ones," said Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, inaugurating the BSF's BOLD-QIT (Border Electronically Dominated QRT Interception Technique) project that will cover the Brahmaputra river in its entirety along lower Assam's Dhubri district.
"Our personnel will act in accordance with what the sensors show us. When an alert is generated in the command centre, we will start monitoring the situation. Our sensors enable detection as well as transmission of video feed," AK Sharma, Additional Director General of the BSF, told NDTV.
The new system promises to be of great help to the BSF along the riverine border.
"Earlier, all the work had to be done solely by our men. Now that the machines are here, they can become more efficient. We have formed a quick reaction team who will immediately work on inputs provided to intercept and eliminate the target," said a BSF commandant on the condition of anonymity.
This is how the system will function: At ground zero of the riverine border, the gadgets act as the eyes and ears of the BSF. Upon detecting suspicious signals and movements, the command centre set off alarms that bring quick reaction teams to the scene immediately.