Wednesday, June 4, 2014
BSF to acquire all-terrain vehicles for patrolling
After successfully countering the designs of anti-national elements, the Border Security Force (BSF) is set to acquire all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) for patrolling the Punjab frontier on the Indo-Pak border to curb the increased smuggling of narcotics from across the border.
BSF Inspector-General, Punjab Frontier Ajay Kumar Tomar revealed that a proposal has been sent to BSF Delhi headquarters for clearance. "Once cleared, we will get these vehicles soon. Already BSF is using ATVs in Rann of Kutch in Gujarat," he told newspersons here.
This would be the first time that ATVs would be used in this part of the country.
The BSF is using these unique vehicles that help it monitor 4,000 square kilometres of creeks and marshy lands in Rann of Kutch in Gujarat.
Sources said with the ATVs, the force will be able to easily patrol the marshy areas and also the small patches of land cut by Ravi and Beas rivers on the border in Gurdaspur, Amritsar and Ferozepur districts.
Also along the international border as during rainy season the kucha track becomes muddy thus it becomes hard to patrol. Besides these can tackle water-logged terrain of a depth of approximately one-and-a-half feet.
At present, the BSF does patrolling on foot and on horseback and also uses boats to patrol the areas which are cut by rivers.
In some patches, where the road is motorable, jeep patrolling is done.
The BSF has already conducted field trials in three areas-Basti Ram Lal Tapu, DT Mal and New Gazniwala-all in Ferozepur district, and these are low-lying areas close to the 553-km border with Pakistan where the movement of troops becomes difficult during rains and floods.
Now, some trials are expected on the border in Amritsar district.
Due to the fibre body, the vehicle can be easily lifted by five to six persons if stuck in mud.
These vehicles can climb on a gradient of 30 degrees and with tubeless tyres, the ride becomes smooth and facilitates negotiation in marshy, sandy and muddy areas.
The electronic fuel injection pump fitted in these vehicles improves the pick-up of these ATVs.
Sources said the force here needs around 10 ATVs but how many such vehicles were bought would depend upon clearance from the BSF headquarters.
In March and April, security agencies in the state made seizures of drugs worth over Rs 800 crore.
Most of the heroin seizure was made by the BSF along the India-Pakistan border.
BSF has already recovered 243.66 kg of heroin this year while last year the haul was around 322 kg in Punjab.