To strengthen the security related infrastructures along the state borders, the Assam government has sanctioned Rs 100 crore and decided to further tighten the vigil along the frontiers, officials said in Guwahati on December 19.
An official of the Border Protection and Development Department (BPDD) said that in line with the MOITRI scheme for the modernisation of police stations, Assam government is all set to launch a scheme for the infrastructural development of the Border Outposts (BOPs).
He said that in the first phase of the scheme, 50 BOPs would be upgraded and an amount to the tune of around Rs 100 crore has been earmarked for the purpose. Subsequently, other BOPs of the state would be covered under the scheme.
“The sealing of the India-Bangladesh border is the topmost priority for making Assam free from illegal migrants from across the international border and for this purpose the border is being fenced by physical and non-physical barriers,” the official said.
The 263 km India-Bangladesh international border along Assam is being guarded by the Border Security Force (BSF) while the 267 km Indo-Bhutan international border is manned by the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB). A second line of defence is being provided by the Assam Police.
Besides, Assam shares 2616.1 km inter-state borders with six Northeast states, excluding Sikkim.
The official said that BPDD is aimed to provide all round development in the remotest border areas of the state by creating infrastructural facilities and bringing the whole area to the level of all other developed urban areas of the state with all physical amenities and to instil a sense of security to the lives and properties of the border population.
Development of roads in border areas of Assam
An official release said that Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, while presiding over a meeting of the BPDD, said that for the efficient management of inter-state boundary areas and making the border areas’ development programmes successful, roads leading to the BOPs need to be made motorable.
“At the same time, provision should be made for uninterrupted power supply in the BOPs,” the Assam chief minister said.
Sonowal said that the government is aware of the hardships the security personnel have to endure in manning the BOPs along the remote border areas.
He said that the security personnel posted for ensuring safety and security of the people living along the inter-state border areas deserve good facilities.
“Therefore, elaborate action plan should be put in place to facilitate good living conditions along with logistics for the people as well as police personnel along the fringe areas of the inter-state boundary,” Sonowal said.
The chief minister asked BPDD officials to chalk out an action plan on an urgent basis for the construction of good quality roads and bridges to reach even the impregnable areas.
Sonowal informed that the government would provide four motorcycles and eight bicycles to each of the 100 BOPs. Moreover, the government would also provide fuel for the vehicles.
The chief minister stressed on the importance of solving all outstanding boundary issues with the neighbouring Northeast states amicably through dialogue and asked the senior officers of the departments to have regular talks with their counterparts.
Sonowal also took stock of the situation prevailing along the India-Bangladesh border that Assam shares with the neighbouring country along with the ongoing exercise of the National Register of Citizens (NRC).