- 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.
- India shares a 4,096 km long border with Bangladesh.
- 5 states that share the border with Bangladesh include:
- West Bengal (2,217 km)
- Assam (262 km)
- Tripura (856 km)
- Mizoram (180 km)
- 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
- Indo-Pakistan Border in J&K (10 Kms) – completed in September 2018
- 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
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, radars, sonar 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.