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Friday, August 21, 2009

BSF likely to deploy ATVs, hovercraft for vigil along Harami Nala by year-end

The Border Security Force (BSF) is likely to deploy by the year-end two All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) and as many hovercraft to keep vigil on the Pakistani activities in the Harami Nala creek, which has not been accessible for the Indian security forces so far.

Though this stretch of water measuring 25 kms in length and 1.5 kms in breadth falls within the territorial boundaries of India, the Indian security forces have not been able to keep check on the activities here, as it is accessible from the Pakistani side through Sir Creek, which is easily negotiable with boats.

According to BSF officials, Pakistanis have been using Harami Nala for fishing as well as helping infiltration in India through the Rann of Kutch. And the Indian security forces have not been able to keep full vigil on alien activities in the stretch owing to lack of access.

The only method of accessing the area and keeping vigil on this stretch at present is the aerial surveillance. But officials say that aerial surveillance alone was not very effective because aircraft or helicopters can’t hover over the area round the clock.

About a year ago, the BSF entered into a deal with an Italian firm for ATVs to negotiate the marshylands of the Rann to reach Harami Nala.

However, before buying them, the Home Ministry wanted to test the vehicles if these could operate successfully in the difficult terrains of the Rann.

Sources in the BSF said that after certain modifications, ATVs as well as hovercraft were found successful and were likely to be put into operation in the Harami Nala area in the next few months after other formalities like payments with the firm were completed.

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