The government has sanctioned 2043.63 km of fencing along the 3,323 km long India-Pakistan border (including the Line of Control) in order to reduce cross-border infiltration. As per the latest figures available, out of the sanctioned fencing, work along 1953.50 km has been completed, while the rest 83.22 km is yet to be fenced.
Out of 3,323 km, 1,225 km is in Jammu and Kashmir, 553 km in Punjab, 1,037 km in Rajasthan and 508 km in Gujarat.
According to officials, in the last four years, Pakistan has constructed 537 bunkers in the border areas, 124 towers,116 morchas, 30 border outposts and 6 helipads.
“The fencing is generally done at a distance of 150 yards from the border and there were 249 attempts of infiltration till the last assessment (October 2012) which have shown a slight increase from the previous year (2011),” an MHA official said.
These fences are nearly 12 feet high and have razor sharp wires. Electrical currents pass through these wires wherever possible. They have an alarm and a lighting system. Some of the fencings have multi-tier security systems including sensors, thermal imagers and night vision devices.
In 2004, during the then Army chief N.C. Vij’s tenure, the Line of Control (LoC) was given a three-tier fencing. Every night the fences along the LoC are electrified for extra security. Out of its 740 km, 700 km are fenced.
According to the India-Pakistan ceasefire agreement of 2003, no new constructions are allowed along the LoC. If any new observation posts are to be built, prior intimation has to be given to the other side.
A former Northern Army commander told this newspaper that now helicopter surveillance has increased unlike before, adding, “Long endurance Israeli Searcher UAVs and radars keep vigil along the LoC and every inch of the land is held by the Indian Army, from Siachen to Chhamb-Jaurian sector. Earlier, there were vacant posts and there was no patrolling during winters, but now no post is left vacant, plus there is continuous patrolling along the entire border, which gives India an edge.”
An official with the MHA said, “Border areas are an inhospitable terrain and in some places conventional ideas don’t work. So we have to resort to newer ways. Like in Sir Creek area we erected floating fences.”