HomeIndian DefenceMarine Battalion, Drone Squadron and All-Terrain Vehicles will protect Sundarbans against infiltration...

Marine Battalion, Drone Squadron and All-Terrain Vehicles will protect Sundarbans against infiltration and smuggling

Marine Battalion, Drone Squadron and All-Terrain Vehicles will protect Sundarbans against infiltration and smuggling

An almost 1,100-strong marine battalion, an approximately 40-strong drone squadron, and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are all part of the BSF’s plan to protect the strategically important Sunderbans mangrove region along the border between Bangladesh and India against infiltration and smuggling.

According to official sources, the Eastern Command of the border force, which is headquartered in Kolkata, has created the plan’s blueprint. Approval and funding from Delhi’s Union Home Ministry are awaited.

The Sunderbans, spanning 9,630 sq km in India, are the biggest mangrove forest cover zone in the world. It is comprised of an archipelago of more than 100 islands connected by a complex network of rivers, streams, tidal creeks, and channels. Bangladesh owns the remainder.

Within the Bay of Bengal, it is situated on the delta formed by the Ganga, Brahmaputra, and Meghna rivers.

“Sunderbans is a strategic and vital area along the India-Bangladesh international border. Its effective domination and security is the need of the hour as there are inputs suggesting this tricky forest and riverine area could be used for cross-border infiltration of terrorists and criminals,” a senior officer said.

According to the officer, the army has planned to form a unique marine battalion for the purpose, deploy strong drones capable of long-distance observation flights, and post some ATVs to access these areas for better patrolling.

According to a different official, the new battalion would consist of about 1,100 trained men, and it will be equipped with approximately 40 large drones and 12–14 ATVs.

Upon approval of the proposal by the Ministry of Home Affairs, the plan will be implemented, stated the second official.

Currently, the BSF uses a fleet of over fifty small and big speedboats and other vessels to patrol the Sunderbans area. These vessels are referred to as BoPs, or floating border outposts.

The border force is responsible for monitoring the whole 4,096 km border between Bangladesh and India on the eastern side of India, of which 2,216.7 km is in West Bengal. 300 km of this 2,216.7 km make up the Sunderbans’ riverine border.

The force has also informed the West Bengal government of its plans and requested permission to station a small team of its patrol parties—individuals on foot patrol—in the Forest Department’s “chowkis,” which are governed by the districts of North 24 Parganas and South 24 Parganas.

Currently, the BSF patrol teams are stationed at the BoPs that continually floats in the Sunderbans.



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Aatmanirbhar Bharat


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