AMRITSAR: In a major move to prevent cross-border smuggling and infiltration from Pakistan, the central government is going to replace the existing border fence with a smart one, which will be equipped with heat sensors and CCTV cameras. The fence will be installed all along the international border in Punjab. Inspector general of the BSF, Punjab Frontier, Mukul Goel said this was likely to be done in near future.

Denying to elaborate further on the subject, he said a pilot project was going on outside Punjab and once it achieves success, the existing border fence would be replaced with the smart fence.

The smart fence will be integrated with CCTVs, alarm, heat sensors, loudspeakers and other surveillance and monitoring devices, which would provide live feed to the BSF border outposts and alert them on spotting slightest of movement. In the past, Union minister of state for home affairs Kiren Rijiju had announced that the smart fence would be installed by end of 2018 or early 2019 but the government has not even started the work. The smart fence will be erected all along the nearly 553 km stretch of the Indo-Pak international border in Punjab.

The present border security fence was installed between 1988 to 1993. It also has the cobra wire through which electricity passes. Many a time, there had been incidents of smugglers or infiltrators crossing the fence by digging beneath it.

Sources seeking anonymity said the pilot project was 'somewhere' operational on a 5km border stretch. Goel said the BSF and Pakistan Rangers had also decided to hold Deputy Inspector General (DIG)-level meeting once every three months.

Meanwhile , while stating that induction of advance technology would definitely help check incidents of cross-border smuggling in Punjab, former Inspector General, BSF, Punjab Frontier, M S Malhi said the smart fence would be integrated with various sensors, including photo-voltaic and seismic sensors. Besides, it will also have buried cable intrusion detection system which will immediately sound an alert in case someone tries to cross over.