India Govt, sanction border fancing along Indo-Bangla border
With the existing fencing along the Asom-Bangladesh border becoming almost redundant mainly due to faulty design, the Government of India has sanctioned construction of a new fencing in a stretch of 76 kilometres of the international border and this time, two Central Government undertakings have been entrusted with the job of construction of the new fencing. For the first time, the Central Government has also sanctioned construction of border fencing on the chars along the border. The Dhubri district of Asom has around 134 kilometres of international border and roughly 50 kilometres of it is riverine border. The State PWD constructed about 75 kilometres of border fencing and 78 kilometres of roads along the border in two phases, but due to faulty design, the fencing became almost redundant. Most parts of the fencing remain under water during the rainy season and the fencing is also broken in many parts, making it easy for the infiltrators and smugglers to sneak into the country from Bangladesh and made the task of the Border Security Force (BSF) more difficult.
The DIG, BSF, Guwahati, H Desai told The Assam Tribune that the State PWD constructed the fencing along with the Border Roads Organisation in a stretch of about four kilometres in the Haldiaganj area in Mankachar and the quality of the fencing in that patch was much better. However, the construction of the fencing in that particular patch created some problems for the BSF as a part of the border road was taken over and only light vehicles can ply on that road.
Desai said that the fencing constructed in the first two phases became almost redundant as it was constructed at a much lower height than the border roads and time and again the BSF called for erection of the fencing at elevated land along with the border roads. He said that the Government of India has now sanctioned construction of a new fencing along with the border roads in 76 kilometres along the international border in Dhubri district and instead of the State PWD, the job of construction of the new fencing has been entrusted to two Central Government agencies - NBCC and NPCC. However, it is still not decided whether the existing fencing would be pulled out or would be allowed to remain as a second barrier.
For the first time, the Central Government has sanctioned construction of border roads and fencing in the chars, which are of permanent nature. Desai said that several chars are located along the international border and with citizens of both India and Bangladesh live together in those chars, it is impossible to check infiltration of foreign nationals to India. He said that after the last visit of the Union Home Minister to see the condition of the border, the decision to erect border fencing in the chars that are of permanent nature was taken and in the first phase, the Government of India has sanctioned fencing of a patch of 9.3 kilometres between Mantrichar to Kalaibari char along the international border. The NBCC has already completed the survey for the construction of the fencing and the implementation of the project is likely to start shortly.