• The Army has significantly improved its electronic surveillance along the Line of Control (LoC) to check infiltration, and work on converting the existing border fence into a smart fence integrated with several sensors is under way, several officers have said. 
  • However, there is a rethink on converting the entire fence over a 700 km stretch into a smart one due to the high cost. A hybrid model is now being adopted.
  • The new hybrid model of the smart fence being tested will cost around ₹10 lakh per km and 60 km is being attempted this year.
  • This has some rudimentary smartisation. The earlier proposal for a hi-tech fence was to cost around ₹10 crore for 2.4 km. A ₹10 crore type trial was done in the Army’s 19 Division last year, but it was too expensive so no more contracting was done.
  • The fence will be integrated with LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) sensors, infrared sensors and cameras among others.
  • In recent months, the Army has beefed up troops close to the LoC to plug gaps and it has resulted in a drop in infiltration this year. Lt. Gen. B.S. Raju, General Officer Commanding, 15 Corps, said that while the multi-tier anti-infiltration grid remains in place, the first tier has been strengthened. Troops have also been given drones, both big and small, to monitor the ground.