India plans $3.7 billion border fence with Myanmar

According to a recent report, the government of India is set to allocate approximately $3.7 billion to erect a border fence spanning 1,610 kilometers along its boundary with...

According to a recent report, the government of India is set to allocate approximately $3.7 billion to erect a border fence spanning 1,610 kilometers along its boundary with Myanmar over the next decade.

The initiative aims to curtail smuggling activities and other illicit endeavors. This decision comes on the heels of India’s announcement earlier this year, citing national security concerns, to implement stringent border control measures, including the cessation of a longstanding visa-free movement policy for border residents with Myanmar.The projected cost for constructing the fence and adjacent road infrastructure along the Myanmar border amounts to approximately ₹125 million per kilometer.

This cost significantly surpasses the expenses incurred for the border fence constructed along the Bangladesh border in 2020, which stood at ₹55 million per kilometer. The variance in cost is attributed to the challenging topography of the Myanmar border region and the incorporation of advanced technology to deter intrusion and deterioration.The Narendra Modi-led government has emphasized the imperative of fortifying the porous border to preserve the demographic composition of India’s northeastern region.

A government committee, earlier this month, endorsed the proposed expenditure for the fencing project, pending approval from the Union cabinet. As of now, no official statements have been issued by government representatives from either India or Myanmar regarding this development. The escalating influx of civilians and military personnel from Myanmar into India following the military coup in 2021 has heightened concerns within the Indian government about potential communal tensions.

Notably, Manipur has been grappling with a prolonged internal conflict resembling civil strife, fueled by ethnic discord, particularly among groups sharing ancestral ties with Myanmar’s Chin tribe.Furthermore, the government committee has greenlit plans to construct parallel roads adjacent to the border fence and extend feeder roads covering a distance of 1,700 kilometers to connect military installations with the border, as per the Reuters report.

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