Rajnath directs constant vigil, security on borders

New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) Amid firing and ceasefire violations by Pakistan across the Line of Control and the International Border in Jammu and Kashmir, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday directed constant vigil and security on Indian borders.

Presiding over a review meeting here, he took stock of the progress of construction of border fencing, roads and outposts along India’s borders with neighbouring countries and expressed satisfaction that 97 per cent of the sanctioned fencing work on the India-Pakistan border has been completed.

“He reviewed implementation of the pilot projects on Comprehensive Integrated Border Management Systems on non-­physical barriers and also stressed to utilise space technology for strengthening border guarding and policing,” a statement from the Ministry said.

The meeting was attended by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Special Secretary (Border Management) B.R. Sharma, Joint Secretaries of Border Management, other senior officers of MHA and senior officers from Central Armed Police Forces.

Singh stressed that coastal security is of utmost importance and appreciated action taken by state governments and Union Territories for operationalisation of 194 coastal police stations duly equipped with boats and other equipment.

Underlining the need for better cooperation among various agencies engaged in coastal security, he directed that the next phase of the coastal security scheme should be expedited in consultation with stakeholders like the Navy, Coast Guard, and states.

He complimented proactive role being played by Central Armed Forces and Navy and Coast Guard and directed that vigil be maintained on all borders, including coastal areas, while protecting legitimate rights of the local population.

Identifying that land acquisition remained an issue, he called for expediting the same especially along the country’s eastern borders.

Expressing satisfaction over the working of six newly established Integrated Check Posts, the Minister called for the construction of 13 more ICPs along India-Nepal, India-Bangladesh and India-Bhutan borders.

“These checkposts will facilitate cross-border trade and movement of people,” he said.

The Minister also reviewed working of Border Area Development Plan and directed that all border states should send their annual action plans to the MHA for release of funds and that all schemes and projects under the BADP be implemented at a fast pace.