Ramping up infrastructure along the 512-km long International Border (IB) with Pakistan, the Government has prepared a border roads network action plan (BRNAP) to enhance operational efficiency of troops in that region, which of late has become notorious for drug smuggling.

A hundred kilometre stretch along the IB has been identified by a Working Group set-up on the directions of the Union Home Ministry for bringing it under the BRNAP for Gujarat for swift movement of armoured vehicles, as well as to provide seamless administration back up to the troops deployed close to the border.

Of that, 50 km stretch is from Border Security Force (BSF) manned Border Post 921 to Border Post 1175, sources aware of the planning told businessline. The other stretch incorporated into the BRNAP is also of 50 kms and starts from BP 1175 and goes up to Sir Mouth and coastal areas.

The Working Group constituted on the directions of the Union Home Ministry is headed by BSF’s Inspector General of Police of Gujarat Frontier since the central armed police force (CAPF) mans the 2,289 km long IB in Gujarat and elsewhere in Jammu and Rajasthan. It also has representatives from Indian Army’s Infantry Brigade, Intelligence Bureau, Border Roads Organisation, Central Public Works Department (CPWD), and Gujarat’s Public Works Department (PWD).

BSF ops near India-Pak border in Kutch

The BRNAP was conceived through an order of MHA issued last December to recommend border areas that need to be covered under the Plan. It’s learnt that the Army, BSF and Gujarat government have given their individual suggestions on construction and widening of the road network for strengthening national security, sources privy to development stated.

In a meeting of the Working Group held sometime back, it was also decided to map existing roads, roads under construction and those that are being planned for strategic reasons. The CPWD has been authorised to be nodal government agency for collection of database, construction and maintenance of roads which would be done on the specifications laid down by Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

Apart from construction, it was also decided to widen over 85 kms of road spread across five packages, including 44 km long stretch between Chiriyamore to RE Park Link Road and resurface another (close to) 70 km long road in three different packages over 33 km long patch between Narayan Sarovar and Lakhpat Road and 20 km stretch between Dayapar-Pandhro Road is among them.

The Group can also give a future requirement roadmap, but they have to back their suggestion with specific implementable objectives, sources pointed out.

Two years ago, the MHA had given nod for construction of seven watch towers to keep an eye on intrusion and plug the long-standing infrastructural deficiencies on the border along Sir Creek area of Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, that Pakistan often exploits for smuggling narcotics and goods.