Upping the ante against drug smuggling and intrusion, the Border Security Force (BSF) has started electronic surveillance along the Punjab frontier with Pakistan under a pilot project.
To start with, it has installed CCTV (closed-circuit television) and PTZ (pan, tilt, zoom) cameras, besides other gadgets for surveillance of a 5-kilometre stretch near here. It hopes this will be of help during winter fog. Linked with the outposts, the cameras and can see through several weather barriers to an extent.
It might well be the turning point in border surveillance in the opinion of BSF inspector general (Punjab frontier) Anil Paliwal, who was in Amritsar on Wednesday.
"We will monitor the results of this pilot project closely," he said. "Already we have HHTI (hand-held thermal imaging) cameras along the border but now with the CCTV and PTZ technology, the vigil will be better, and once we see the results, we can ask the government to scale it up," said BSF deputy inspector gereral MF Farooqui.
The DIG said that the new cameras had the thermal imaging potential (to use body heat of the target to locate them in dark) and a good enough range. "Besides, the BSF can monitor the details captured in the cameras sitting at its headquarters," he added.
On the proposed intruder sensors along the security fence, the DIG said that was in the pipeline. The BSF last year seized 362-kilogram heroin, its highest ever.
In the wake of tension on the Pakistan border in Jammu and Kashmir, the BSF has gone extra alert on the Punjab frontier. "The situation in the Bamial sector is fine and what happened at Plah village was a stray incident," said inspector general Anil Paliwal.