India to have robust surveillance system along China border soon

Sanjeev Pargal

JAMMU, Nov 10: Though peace prevailed between Sino-Indian troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh sector with both Armies holding regular interactions at Border Meeting Points (BMPs), India has decided to go ahead with installation of latest gadgetry along the LAC to monitor movement of the Chinese troops from its side.
The new initiative by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Ministry of Defence (MoD) comes in the wake of failure of previous such system to work up to the expectations of Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), which guards the LAC along the China border. The ITBP comes under the command of the MHA.
Official sources told the Excelsior that since the LAC along China border in Ladakh sector was located in high mountain ranges and treacherous route with no approach roads in majority of areas, the MHA and MoD have decided to go ahead with their proposal for installation of high resolution sophisticated cameras to keep surveillance on the PLA activities on its own side.
“The Defence experts would first work on surveillance cameras before their installation about 20 kilometers inside the Indian territory to ensure that the system doesn’t fail like the previous one, which hadn’t come up to expectations of the ITBP as it failed to gave proper and adequate view of the activities across the LAC,” sources said.
The initial project was taken up by the MHA in 2013 after standoff between Sino-Indian troops at Despang area of Ladakh sector. The PLA troops had intruded deep inside the Indian territory at Despang but retreated only after a fortnight.
As the LAC between India and China was un-demarcated, the Indian Army and ITBP conduct patrolling at far off areas but undertake frequent visits to the LAC or depend on the reports of shepherds and other people living close to the LAC.
“It was in this context especially after Despang incursions that the ITBP had decided to install sophisticated cameras to monitor movement of the PLA on the Indian side. However, this system has not worked and, therefore, the MHA and MoD have decided to go ahead with the new system of installing very high resolution surveillance cameras to ensure that they give adequate picture of the LAC, where the troops and the ITBP personnel can’t monitor or patrol regularly.
Sources said the new system would largely help Army and ITBP to get better picture of the LAC and detect any unwanted movement of the PLA troops inside the Indian territory well in time. However, they pointed out that the new system could take some time as it was in the initial phase of launch. But once installed and made functional, it would go long way in making surveillance system of the Indian side up to the mark.
Sources said the MHA and MoD have reportedly decided to start the new surveillance system from Ladakh sector with China and gradually have it in all other States, which have the LAC with China including Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.
It may be mentioned here that India has very effective surveillance system along the Line or Control (LoC) and International Border with Pakistan as IB and LoC mostly have approach roads or trekking areas barring some places in Jammu and Kashmir.
India planned to have surveillance system on the pattern of Pakistan along China LAC gradually. Though India has cordial relations with China with not a single shot fired by either side along the LAC for years together, Indo-Pak troops continued to exchange firing and shelling quite often though presently both LoC and IB were calm.
Sources said the hi-resolution cameras India proposed to install along the LAC would be capable of giving 15 to 20 kilometers live feed to Army and ITBP even along the higher altitudes and would be connected with nearby Border Outposts for monitoring.
Sources said the Chinese Army has very high quality surveillance system on its side of the LAC as they monitor each and every movement of the Indian Army and the ITBP from their side.


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