`Water woes` along Indo-Pak border in Gujarat to end soon

Last Updated: Monday, June 24, 2013 - 15:49

Vighokote (Gujarat): In a relief for jawans braving extreme weather conditions in `Great Rann of Kutch`, several check posts along the India-Pakistan border will soon be provided with regular supply of fresh water from Narmada river.

The work of laying of fresh pipelines and replacement of existing dilapidated pipes with the new ones by the Gujarat government authorities is going on in full swing along the "crucial and sensitive" border line here, said officials in charge of guarding the frontier.

At present, water is brought in tankers and stored here for use of Border Security Force (BSF) personnel manning about 27 Border Out Posts (BOPs) in the area surrounded up to several hundred kilometres with marshy land filled with pungent smell of salt due to sea water.

"The work is going on. Authorities (Gujarat government) are replacing the existing pipelines with the dilapidated ones and laying new channels. They have said that till last point of the border it will be done," Deputy Inspector General of BSF in Bhuj sector, AS Rathore told a news agency here.

He said the replacement of old pipelines till the last pillar along the international border line is likely to be completed soon.

The pipelines already exist near `India Bridge`, which connects border area of this region with the other parts of the state, under Khavda area.

"The channel has connectivity till Vighokote. But major parts of over 100 kilometres pipe lines are damaged due to weather conditions and other reasons. Now, new pipe lines with longest durability are being laid," said another senior official of the paramilitary force deployed here.

The Great Rann of Kutch, located in the country`s largest district Kutch, is marshy area of over 5,000 square kms.

Kutch district has an area of 45,652 sq kms. There is no habitation or civilian population in the Rann (which means wasteland) as the soil contains high salinity level of up to 60 per cent.

The land does not let sustain for long time any infrastructure work like watch towers and fencing at the international border lines as they get corroded.

"There is a challenge in guarding the border. But there has not been a single incident of infiltration or infiltration attempts from this side. Our jawans are guarding border 24x7 despite difficult terrain," said the official.

The Great Rann of Kutch, which is surrounded by slush containing high salt, has no source of fresh water.

Besides the land is also home to varieties of poisonous snakes.

"There are snakes in this area. There have been a few incidents of snake bites. Keeping this in mind, we have directed our BoPs to have anti-venom," the official said.
About five battalions, 5,000 men, have been deployed in Kutch region to guard country`s frontier with Pakistan which contains Rann and sea water, he said.

PTI



First Published: Monday, June 24, 2013 - 15:49

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