41k BSF troops, Rs 5,000 cr infrastructure for Myanmar border?

A plan to deploy 41,000 troops and setting up of Rs 5,000 crore infrastructure will be on the government's table this week as it looks to replace Assam Rifles with BSF to guard the porous Indo-Myanmar border.

A team of senior BSF officials will soon make a detailed presentation to the Ministry of Home Affairs as to the force's requirements for stationing its personnel and creating posts along this 1,640 km-long border, which is notorious for movement of insurgents and smuggling of arms and narcotics.

A field survey team is already in the border areas to map the topography and the terrain and forests in the area.

Border Security Force (BSF), according to sources, has projected a requirement of 41 battalions (roughly 41,000 personnel), under three new sectors, to man this border.

The estimated cost of creating the infrastructure for the above, over a period of five years, is about Rs 5,000 crore.

"The final approvals will be made by the government later this week," sources privy to the development said.

The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), the country's highest decision-making body on security-related matters, will take up the MHA proposal soon for a final approval.

BSF is at present deployed on the frontiers with Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Assam Rifles personnel will now be deployed in anti- insurgency operations in the same area and in some other theatres of conflict.

A decision to hand over security duties on this border had been pending for many years after the Group of Ministers (GoM) on Kargil advocated its 'one border, one force' theory.

The proposal entails the country's second largest paramilitary force creating posts right on the border in an area marked by dense forests and difficult terrain.

Most of the posts of Assam Rifles are located well inside Indian territory and only a handful of them are located near the zero line, which makes it easier for insurgents camping in Myanmar to sneak into India.

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