New Delhi: India will deploy additional 8,000 troops along its borders with Nepal and Bhutan by July to ensure effective patrolling at these frontiers.
"We would be deploying about eight fresh battalions between both the borders that we guard. The deployment will largely be achieved by July. The rest will be put in place over few months from then," SSB Director General (DG) Pranay Sahay said.
The Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) guards the 1,751-km Indo-Nepal and 699-km Indo-Bhutan borders.
The SSB chief said the border guarding force has also begun creating new Border Out Posts (BOPs) at these frontiers and these freshly trained troops will be stationed to man these units and patrol the `open` frontier.
The DG has been travelling to these border areas to oversee the new work since he took over charge of the about 40,000 personnel strong force in October 2011.
At present, India has 450 BoPs along the Indo-Nepal border and the distance between two BoPs is 4.5 km.
According to the security strengthening plan for the Nepal border, over the next five years, 89 new BoPs will be created and the aim is to reduce the inter-BoP distance to 3.47-km.
Sahay said similar measures are also being undertaken along the Indo-Bhutan border with the creation of 50 new BoPs. The force guards the 669-km frontier with Bhutan.
The Nepal border is prone to smuggling of fake Indian currency, arms, narcotics and other items while it has also come to light that terrorists have used this border to cross over to India.
The SSB has also been granted sanction by the government to raise 36 new battalions in the next five years and the total strength of the force then would stand at 73 battalions.
The Union Home Ministry has also sanctioned new vehicles for the movement of troops in border areas and the personnel will be given new gadgets like night-vision binoculars and modern tools of telecommunication for better operational capability.