Today, India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh has inaugurated a 61-km-long ‘smart fencing’ alongside the border of India and Bangladesh in Assam’s Dhubri district and this will soon be implemented on entire
4,096 km long India-Bangladesh border under first of its kind project called BOLD-QIT (Border Electronically Dominated QRT Interception Technique).
Notably, this is the third smart fence project launched as last yea two similar projects covering a 10-km stretch on the India-Pakistan border were inaugurated, which make India to have a total of 71 Km of international border — one of Bangladesh and the other of Pakistan.
BOLD-QIT is a project under CIBMS (Comprehensive Integrated Border Management system), a robust and integrated system that is capable of addressing the gaps in the present system of border security by seamlessly integrating human resources, weapons, and high-tech surveillance equipment like Thermal Imager, Unattended Ground Sensor (UGS) , Fiber Optical Sensors, Radar, Sonar have been mounted on different platforms like Aerostat, tower, poles etc.
As per CIBMS, the data will be transmitted to a command and control centre which will apprise the senior commanders there about the happenings on the ground and thus providing a composite picture of the international border. A composite picture would help senior commanders analyse and classify the threat and mobilise resources accordingly to assist the field commander in his response.
The purpose of the CIBMS is to eventually replace manual surveillance/patrolling of the international borders by electronic surveillance and organising the BSF personnel into quick reaction teams to enhance their detection and interception capabilities. Other factors such as power back up, training of the BSF personnel in handling the sophisticated equipment, and maintenance of the equipment are incorporated into the CIBMS project.
CIBMS has three main components:
- new high-tech surveillance devices such as sensors, detectors, cameras, ground-based radar systems, micro-aerostats (
a lighter-than-air aircraft), lasers as well as existing equipment for round-the-clock surveillance of the international border;
- an efficient and dedicated communication network including fibre optic cables and satellite communication for transmitting data gathered by these diverse high-tech surveillance and detection devices
- a command and control centre to which the data will be transmitted in order to apprise the senior commanders about the happenings on the ground and thus providing a composite picture of the international border.
India shares international land borders with six sovereign countries, measuring a total of 13,043 Km.
The Stage-1 of smart fencing project on pilot basis has been completed and now Stage-2 and Stage-3 will begin covering about 1955 Kms of the Indo-Pakistan and Indo-Bangladesh border. It includes region which cannot be physically fenced such as river line, water-logged and swampy areas.
The use of high-tech solutions for border security was being considered by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) since 2012 when it released an Expression of Interest (EoI) for a Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS).