The new Border Security Force (BSF) inspector general (IG) of the Punjab frontier, Ajay K Tomar, said that the priority of the border guards along the 553-km-long Punjab border would be to check narcotic smuggling from Pakistan.
Tomar, who took over command of the Punjab frontier just a couple of days back, paid a visit to the Dhaliwal border outpost in the Amritsar sector where a 10-kg heroin consignment was intercepted by the BSF on Tuesday.
Talking to HT at Khasa, the Amritsar sector headquarters of the BSF, Tomar said, "At the rate at which narcotics are being pushed into the country, the BSF cannot afford to relax its guard. We have to track down the smugglers and border crossers".
The IG, who has made his priorities clear to his officers, said that the BSF would continue to conduct special anti-narcotic operations along the border. "Though the BSF was equipped with the best surveillance equipment, but with the changes in technology, the border guards too would go in for transformations from time to time," he added.
"Our task is to ensure that the borders are fully secured and the population feels safe. The peace and tranquility along the border will be maintained at all costs," he added.
Better facilities to come up at Wagah
In the wake of the popularity of the evening Retreat Ceremony, Tomar said that efforts were on to provide better facilities to those who come to Wagah to witness this ceremony. In this context he pointed to the need of increasing the seating arrangement at the viewers gallery at the joint checkpost.
"A project is in the pipeline and it will be implemented soon," he added.
Better relations with farmers
The IG also stressed the need for further improving the relationship between the BSF jawans and the farmers who have their land between the barbed wire fence and the zero line. He made it clear that he had sent clear-cut instructions that cordial relations with the border population must be maintained and there should be no unnecessary harassment.
"We are there to help the farmers and to ensure that they feel safe. Whatever problems they have we will address them," he said, while stressing that his field commanders will maintain regular contact with the farmers.
Better facilities for jawans
Pointing out that 2013 had been declared by the BSF as 'Year of the jawan', Tomar said that better living and working conditions were being made at all BOPs. Facilities for jawans are being upgraded, he added.