BSF to install 5,500 CCTV cameras at Bangladesh, Pakistan borders

International Desk Published: 1 December 2022, 01:31 PM
BSF to install 5,500 CCTV cameras at Bangladesh, Pakistan borders
File photo of India-Bangladesh border.

The Border Security Force (BSF) will be installing 5,500 security cameras along the borders with Bangladesh and Pakistan and the central government has “sanctioned ₹30 crore for this procurement”, BSF chief Pankaj Kumar Singh said on Wednesday.

Addressing the annual press conference in Delhi, the BSF director general said they have been sanctioned a fund of ₹30 crore for surveillance cameras, drones and other monitoring gadgets, reports Hindustan Times.

“We have got around 5,500 CCTV surveillance cameras and some other gadgets and the Union home ministry has sanctioned a ₹30-crore fund for this procurement,” Singh said. Soon, he said, 5,500 security cameras will be installed in the front areas, both at borders with Bangladesh and Pakistan.

While terming the use of drones from across the border as a ‘major challenge’ for which they don’t have a foolproof solution yet, Singh said that BSF has developed “low-cost” technology solutions for monitoring infiltration, drone activity and other crimes at India’s border with Pakistan. “We will find solutions in the times to come and we are increasingly detecting and killing the drones,” he said.

“We have tried to enhance the surveillance in border areas in a big way. This entails use of surveillance cameras and drones on the western and eastern theatres (Pakistan and Bangladesh fronts respectively).”

The BSF too has developed some “low-cost technology solutions” that helps us to mount effective surveillance in the border areas. Similar tools provided by foreign vendors were found very costly and hence we have now developed in-house low-cost sensors and surveillance devices, he said.

The DG said the troops of his force were getting efficient in “detecting and shooting down drones that fly from across Pakistan into India”. We shot down 16 drones along the Pakistan front this year compared to the one brought down in this region last year, he said. There has been a spate in drone sightings with Pakistan dropping weapons and narcotics in the border areas of Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab.

According to the BSF, 114 drone sightings were made along the Pakistan front (both international border and Line of Control along Indo-Pakistan border) last year while the numbers this year till November 10 has risen to 218.

The BSF chief said ensuring robust cyber security was also a major challenge before security agencies like the BSF as he cited the recent example of the ransomware attack on the servers of the AIIMS in Delhi.

Now with 5G technology coming up, we need to be prepared to ensure that our systems are safe, he said.

The force has also “improved the defences” along the Line of Control (LoC) area in Kashmir, the DG said, informing that a total of 117 forward defence locations have been “reinforced” or strengthened by providing better housing infrastructure for the troops at those locations.

The BSF independently guards the India-Pakistan international border running from Jammu to Punjab and further up to Rajasthan and Gujarat. It works under the operational command of the army at the LoC.

Talking about the instances of infiltrations from Pakistan into India, the DG said the force is undertaking all efforts to ensure that they cannot sneak in from its area of responsibility.

“We will definitely not say that it is not possible (infiltration from Pakistan border) but we make all efforts to ensure that no terrorist can breach the border. We have undertaken a number of initiatives in this context,” he said.

On seized drones, he said the BSF was now undertaking a forensic study and they were getting “wonderful information” from the chips inserted in the drones like its flight path, launch pad, destination and the duration of the flight etc.

“We are providing some good monetary incentives to our troops who shoot down the drones even as we are coordinating with the state police forces to undertake patrolling in depth areas,” he said.

A BSF officer, requesting anonymity, said that the Punjab Police has provided at least 300 police personnel to undertake deep patrols with the BSF in border areas of the state that are vulnerable from the angle of drugs and weapons smuggling from Pakistan.

The top BSF commander said with the extension of BSF jurisdiction from 15 to 50 km, after an order issued by the Union government last year, the force has seen that it has been more successful in tackling border crimes and the rate of detecting these instances and apprehending criminals has “slightly gone up”.