Day 54 – Q 4.How critical is border infrastructure development for the internal security of India? Discuss in the light of India’s unique geo-strategic location and domestic politics of bordering states.
4. How critical is border infrastructure development for the internal security of India? Discuss in the light of India’s unique geo-strategic location and domestic politics of bordering states.
भारत की आंतरिक सुरक्षा के लिए सीमा अवसंरचना विकास कितना महत्वपूर्ण है? भारत के अद्वितीय भू-रणनीतिक स्थान और सीमावर्ती राज्यों की घरेलू राजनीति के प्रकाश में चर्चा करें।
India is bordering 17 states having the international borders with Pakistan, China,
Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar and Bangladesh. India shares borders with Pakistan (3,323 km), China (3,488 km), Nepal (1,751 km), Bhutan (699 km), Myanmar (1,643 km) and Bangladesh (4,096 km).
Significance of border infrastructure:
- The major border security challenges: cross-border terrorism, infiltration and exfiltration of armed militants and insurgents, narcotics and arms smuggling; illegal migration; left-wing extremism and separatist movements aided by external powers.
- Various strategies: India has actively pursued the strategy of strengthening of border policing and guarding, creation of border infrastructure like roads, fencing and flood lighting on the borders, implementation of the Coastal Security Scheme to strengthen coastal security infrastructure, implementation of Border Area Development Programme and development of Integrated Check Posts (ICPs) on the land borders of the country including setting up of Land Ports Authority of India (LPAI).
- To strengthen our infrastructure: Border areas in Punjab and J&K are suffering from poor infrastructure and lack of connectivity and transportation, in the name border infrastructure we are developing states infrastructure.
India in geostrategic location:
- Strategic location of the region: Countries of this region share borders with China, Afghanistan, Russia and Iran. Tajikistan is located in proximity to the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. This region is seen as a Eurasian bridge, connecting countries of Asia to Europe.
- India-Pakistan: Pakistan has a geostrategic location in South Asia where it will use Gwadar Port as a major trade route and a future trade hub. The importance of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and with it the Belt and Road Initiative, also known as the One Belt One Road or the Silk Road Economic Belt
- India- China: One is Aksai Chin, a virtually uninhabited high-altitude desert expanse of about 37,000 square kilometres. Aksai Chin lies between the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, and China’s Xinjiang province, both regions that are also riven by separatist conflicts. On the other side, Arunachal Pradesh, a diversely populated hill region with a population of around 1.4 million people spread out over 84,000 square kilometres is also a geostrategic location.
- India- Nepal: holds a significant geopolitical position in the Himalayan region of the South Asia due to its geostrategic location acting as a buffer state between the two Asian giants- India and the China.
- India- Bhutan: It is a sandwiched between two powerful nations, India and China. Because of its proximity to both the countries. India, is a close neighbour, has traditionally played a significant role in Bhutan. On the other hand Doklam plateau is an area with a plateau and a valley which lies on the Bhutan-China border, near India.
- India-Myanmar: The Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project will connect the eastern Indian seaport of Kolkata with Sittwe seaport in Myanmar by sea. Major strategic and commercial transport route connecting North-East India, and South Asia as a whole, to Southeast Asia
- India- Bangladesh: Lying between the Himalayas in the north and the Bay of Bengal in the south, it offers the only land route connecting the two regions. Any invasion into South Asia from the East must pass through Bangladesh. Bangladesh’s close proximity to both India and China adds further to its geographic importance.
Border development program and domestic politics of bordering states:
- Lack of implementation: Even after about 10 years of implementation of BADP, the border blocks are yet to be opened up and are in utter backwardness due to their isolation and inaccessibility.
- Limited sources: The State Government, though handicapped by its limited resources, is committed to accelerate the pace of development and is trying its best for development of the border areas.
- Irrational funding: Presently, 10% of BADP 6 fund allotted to the State Government is earmarked for security related schemes to be implemented by the state police and paramilitary forces and the balance 90% fund is equally distributed amongst the bordering blocks.
- Other issues: National credit registry politics in Arunachal Pradesh, Sinhalese prosecution in Sri Lanka are some of the other domestic politics
BRO has been frequently in news due to delays and other lacunae with regard to border road infrastructure Proper and defined autonomy with respect to 3F: Funds, Functions and Functionaries will help to boost the rapid development of border road infra, ultimately leading to economically integrated and strategically amiable South Asia.