Border area management along with infrastructure development
Addressing the Members of Consultative Committee attached to the Home Ministry, P. Chidambaram, the Union Home Minister, informed that border area management is possible only when economic and infrastructural development takes place in the border areas. He mentioned that the guarding of borders is a very complex task as it depends upon several factors.
Referring to the Border Area Development Programme (BADP), the Minister informed that ` 990 crore has been allocated for BADP for the year 2012-13 which is ` 90 crore more than the last year’s allocation. The BADP covers 358 blocks of 96 border districts of 17 states located along the international land border. The programme is a 100 per cent centrally-sponsored scheme. Funds are provided to the states as a non-lapsable special central assistance for execution of projects relating to infrastructure, livelihood, education, health, agriculture and allied sector. Funds are released to the states in two installments i.e. first installment of 90 per cent and the second of 10 per cent amount of the allocation.
Chidambaram informed the Committee that in pursuance of the Group of Ministers’ recommendation to reduce inter-border out post (BOP) distance to 3.5 km, the Government has approved construction of additional 509 BOPs—383 on Indo Bangladesh Border and 126 on IndoPakistan border. The Home Minister said that increased number of BOPs will help in effective monitoring of the border. He said that the work is targeted to be completed by 2013-14. He also mentioned that the BOPs are now provided better communication and infrastructural facilities.
The Minister informed that the Government was exploring use of modern technology in border management by proper fencing, flood lights and other latest technologies available in this field. He further stated that the experiences of advanced countries are also being studied for better management of borders. The Minister said that the constraint of resources could be a problem for border management earlier but now adequate resources are being provided and low-cost technology and better management is being explored for better management.
The Home Minister informed that fencing of the borders had helped a lot in checking the infiltration but added that fencing repairs were needed as in several places it is damaged by the sand dunes in Rajasthan sector and snow in J&K.