9 Km IB stretch fenced during border build-up
31 October 2002
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: Nothwithstanding provocations from Pakistan, India is firm in its resolve to fence the 185-kilometre-long International Border (IB) in Jammu sector. This has been illustrated by the involvement of Indian personnel in the task of providing barbed wire fencing even during the 10-month- long standoff between the two countries after the terrorist attack on Indian Parliament on December 13, 2001. The Border Security Force (BSF) has been assigned the task of accomplishing the target—that is, to have the Jammu frontier fenced. Highly placed sources in the BSF told EXCELSIOR that undeterred by the volatile situation along the border, BSF personnel got nine kilometre stretch of IB fenced with barbed wire from January to October this year. In this nine kilometre stretch selected areas in R S Pura, Samba and Akhnoor sectors were covered, the sources said and added that the actual time taken to fence the nine-kilometre-track during build-up on either side of the Indo-Pak border was five to six months. The work also remained suspended for sometime during this period due to some unavoidable reasons. According to the sources, during the fencing work on 16-kilometre- track which was completed in the month of November last year a number of attempts were made by the Pakistani troops to render ineffective Indian operations. Even pillars were also blasted in some areas during the period. But during the fencing work which was completed during build-up there were very few attempts by Pakistan to disrupt the task. ''In the first phase the BSF has to complete fencing work on 40 kilometre track of International Border and it has yet to fence 15 kilometre track'', the sources said and added that the first phase is likely to be completed by mid next year. Moreover, in this period BSF has also completed the work of installation of electric poles all along the 16 kilometre track which was completely fenced by November 2001. ''The poles have been erected and very soon all the 16 kilometre track will be illuminated'', the sources said and disclosed that the task of illuminating 9 kilometre area which was fenced during build-up has not yet been started. ''The illumination of fenced border is really going to help BSF in checking the infiltration from across the border and flow of arms'', the sources said. In the remaining 15 kilometre track there are certain points both in R S Pura and Samba sectors which are likely to be targetted by the Pakistani troops when BSF will start fencing work. This is because the areas are very close to border. But BSF is confident enough to get the remaining portion of the border fenced as per schedule. ''The completion of fencing work on 9-kilometre-track even during hightened tension between the two countries clearly showed that BSF personnel were deadset to get as much area fenced as possible'', the source said and added that in Jammu the fencing work was taking much more time as compared to that in Punjab as in Jammu the area between the two lines of fencing is being filled with concrete. ''Presently it has not been decided as to how much kilometre area of the International Border will be covered during the second phase'', the sources said and added that work is going on in full swing.