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How Army hopes to winterproof Line of Control, shut out infiltrators

How Army hopes to winterproof Line of Control, shut out infiltrators

The existing fence consists of three rows of angle iron pickets that hold up coils of concertina wire. The height of this double-row fence varies between 2.4 m and 3.2 m.

The Army will begin constructing a new fence on the Line of Control this year, which it says will not collapse under the weight of snow in winter — thus addressing one of the biggest problems in tackling infiltration. The new, 350-km fence, to be built over three years, will be integrated with high-tech surveillance devices.

The existing fence consists of three rows of angle iron pickets that hold up coils of concertina wire. The height of this double-row fence varies between 2.4 m and 3.2 m. The construction of the fence began in 2003, and was completed in 2005.

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The new design replaces angle iron pickets with hollow section circular steel posts and lighter concertina wire coils. A double-twisted galvanized mesh has been fixed to either side of the concertina wire coils to bear the snow load. The steel posts will be fixed by concreting with a special grout mix.

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The method of fixing the concertina coils to the posts has been modified. This structure is fit for flatter terrain and for fixing along the slope — that is, from top of a slope to the bottom.

Unlike the existing fence, the new design is modular, which will allow for easy carriage of stores, and easier repair and construction.

The new design will have night vision cameras, alarms and visual map displays integrated into the fence. Currently, the army installs thermal sensing cameras, high-power cameras and long-range observation systems near the LoC, but they are not part of the fence. The new fence will be fully lit by energy saving LED lamps.

Because there is not much snowfall in the Jammu region, the fence there does not face that much of a problem.

The fence has succeeded in achieving its purpose — to stop infiltration from across the LoC. But because some 350 km of the nearly 400-km fence in the Kashmir region is damaged in winter, it is only erected by August. The period of the summer months from May to August is thus available for infiltrators. The new fence will be in place throughout the year.

As per official data, 65 militants infiltrated across the LoC last year. No infiltration has been reported until June this year.

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