New Delhi: Pontoon bridges, sluice gates and airships will be deployed to plug the riverine and vulnerable frontier patches along the 60-km stretch on the Indo-Bangla border in Assam with government hoping to completely seal it by June next year.
With the help of high-resolution cameras, a stricter vigil will be kept on the porous border that is perennially used for infiltration and smuggling of cattle and drugs, officials privy to the development said on Tuesday.
The Border Security Force (BSF) has constituted a team of senior officials to accomplish the target by involving officials from the Assam government and those from premier technology institutions like IITs.
As per a blueprint prepared in this regard, a total of 60.7-km long Indo-Bangla International Border (IB) in Assam is to be plugged by deploying smart technology and non-physical barriers.
Hence, in riverine areas pontoon bridges are proposed to be laid so that BSF personnel can patrol and make 'morchas' (observation posts) atop them to monitor any movement along the border where rivers and rivulets run.
Of the 284-km Indo-Bangla border that falls in Assam, about 224-km is fenced. India shares a 4,096-km frontier with Bangladesh on the eastern flank.
Also, it is proposed to build over two dozen sluice gates on the rivers, including in Dhubri area, so that the flow of water can be controlled and regulated and the phenomenon of Brahmaputra river 'changing its course' during monsoons checked.
Officials said the border guarding force can also create some permanent watch towers in the area marked by dense jungles.
"Every year when Brahmaputra changes course the BSF posts get hit and some get demolished. Many have to be abandoned. Sluice gates can provide a solution to this challenge," they said.
It is also proposed, the blueprint said, to deploy static aerial platforms like aerostats that can be loaded with intelligent high-resolution cameras to 'watch over' the border area.
"A smart operational command and control room will be created that will have all the machine and human surveillance feeds coming to it. The control room will be connected with optic fibre so that it can collect data from the ground and relay it upto Guwahati and further to the BSF headquarters in Delhi," they said.
BSF Director General K K Sharma and Additional DG A P Maheshwari had recently travelled to the affected areas in Assam and also briefed newly appointed Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal about the survey and analysis they conducted in the IB areas.