Prelims cum Mains Security Issues

Assam gets ‘smart’ fence along border

In News

  • The reverine border at Dhubri, Assam between India and Bangladesh is now secured with electronic surveillance with the formal launch of BOLD-QIT project.

 

BOLD-QIT (Border Electronically Dominated QRT Interception Technique)

  • BOLD-QIT is short for Border Electronically Dominated QRT Interception Technique.
  • The project was conceived of in 2017.
  • It primarily involved installation of technical systems to equip border area with sensors.
  • Under the project, the entire span of riverine border is covered with a data network using various communication devices.
  • The communication devices used in the data network include microwave communication, OFC cables, DMR communication, day and night surveillance cameras and intrusion detection system.
  • The various devices under the data network feed signals to BSF control rooms.
  • This ensures quick reaction teams (QRTs) from BSF in handling cross-border crimes.
  • Since electronic communication devices are used to ensure quick reaction time from BSF in border surveillance, the project is named BOLD-QRT.
  • The launch at Dhubri marks the completion of phase-1 of Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS) launched in January 2016.

 

Background

India-Bangladesh border

  • India shares a 4,096 km long border with Bangladesh.
  • 5 states that share the border with Bangladesh include:
  1. West Bengal (2,217 km)
  2. Assam (262 km)
  3. Tripura (856 km)
  4. Mizoram (180 km)
  5. Meghalaya (443 km)

 

Dhubri, Assam: Need for Electronic Surveillance

  • Out of 263 km border Assam shares with Bangladesh, 61 km at Dhubri, Assam is a riverine border. (Brahmaputra enters Bangladesh via Dhubri)
  • Dhubri has vast sandbars and number of river channels. Border fences cannot be erected due to such geographical barriers.
  • As a result, physical guarding of the border becomes difficult.
  • This has made Dhubri the hotbed of cross-border crimes including:
    • Illegal infiltration
    • Trafficking of contraband goods
    • Cattle smuggling
    • Human trafficking
    • Cross border terrorism etc
  • As a result, 61-km riverine border of Dhubri was selected under phase 1 of Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS).

 

 

In Brief: Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System

  • CIBMS was launched in the backdrop of increasing infiltration across borders.
  • It basically involves technological solutions to border surveillance in difficult inhospitable terrains and riverine borders which cannot be physically fenced.
  • CIBMS is planned in a phased manner including 3 phases:
  • Phase 1 – involving two pilot projects
  1. Indo-Pakistan Border in J&K (10 Kms) – completed in September 2018
  2. Indo-Bangladesh Border, Dhubri, Assam (61 Kms) – completed in March 2019
  • Phase 2 and Phase 3 will cover about 1995 km of border area with Pakistan and Bangladesh especially in following areas
  • Riverine, delta and estuary areas
  • Waterlogged and swampy areas
  • Creek areas
  • Plain areas vulnerable to heavy fog
  • Thickly populated areas on the border
  • Hilly areas
  • Tropical jungle areas
  • Deserts

Technology in CIBMS

  • CIBMS uses a number of different devices such as sensors, communication devices and data storage devices.
  • Sensors like thermal infrared imager, Fiber Optical Sensors, radarssonar mounted on different platforms like helium aerostat, tower, poles etc.
  • Integration with other technical systems for communication and data processing.
  • The critical data is then transmitted to Unified Command and Control Centre of BSF for real-time monitoring.
  • CIBMS ensures round-the-clock, all-weather surveillance.

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