What is Smart Wall for Borders?
United States President Joe Biden has halted the construction of the much-publicised 'border wall' between the United States and Mexico. However, an alternative 'Smart wall' has been proposed to replace the physical and armed patrolling with advanced surveillance technology.
Smart Wall may solve border security issues without a physical barrier using sensors, radars and other surveillance technologies to detect and track border break-ins.
In 2019, the Trump Administration declared a national emergency to fund the construction of a border wall along the US-Mexico Border, citing invasion of drugs and criminals from Mexico.
What is Smart Wall?
At present, there's no single definition for the 'Smart Wall', however, the wall will use technologies such as scanners, sensors and radars to prevent illicit entry, smuggling and other border threats.
The wall will create a technological barrier-- too high to climb over, too wide to go around and too deep to burrow under.
With the help of Internet-of-Things (IoT) technologies such as sensors, security cameras, software solutions and so forth, the smart wall will empower border officials and enhance situational awareness to prevent illicit activities.
The Smart Wall will be capable of distinguishing between animals, humans and vehicles-- an alert will be sent to the officers in case of border breaches by humans.
Benefits of Smart Wall:
1- A Smart Wall can accomplish the same goals as a physical wall but at a much lower price.
2- Physical wall will take years to be developed while the Smart Wall is ready to go technology.
3- A Smart Wall will allow border security officials to adjust tactics as per the situations.
4- IoT devices are quick and easy to deploy and are inexpensive to move and update.
5- The maintenance cost of a Smart Wall is much less than a physical wall.
6- Smart Wall raises minimal environmental concerns, allowing wildlife and rainwater to pass freely through the area.
7- Rough terrains are difficult to patrol, making border vulnerable to breaches. Smart Wall will overcome the aforementioned drawback posed by a physical wall, enhancing the surveillance across a vast terrain.
8- Smart Wall technology requires fewer land seizures by the government as compared to a physical border.
9- IoT technologies will allow patrolling agents to survey hundreds of miles at a time. Additionally, a real-time alert will make it easy for them to respond to activity from immigrants approaching the border or to a lost hiker looking for supplies.
Does India need a Smart Wall?
It is well established that India has been struggling with the problem of terrorists and smugglers infiltration in the country through the borders. Thus, in order to secure the Indian borders, Smart Wall technology can be used.
Smart Wall will enhance critical security establishments across long boundaries of India and complement existing fencing and walls.
Furthermore, the technology, if deployed along the Indian borders, will provide the security forces present at the border with an advantage over enemies and border infiltration can be effectively countered.
Two pilot projects have been completed with state-of-the-art surveillance technologies-- Indo-Pakistan Border (10 Kms) and Indo-Bangladesh Border (61 Kms).
The Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS) involved the deployment of thermal imagers, infra-red and laser-based intruder alarms, aerostats for aerial surveillance, unattended ground sensors to detect intrusion bids, radars, sonar systems to secure riverine borders, fibre-optic sensors and a command and control system to receive data from all surveillance devices in real-time.
Border Electronically Dominated QRT Interception Technique (BOLD-QIT) under CIBMS is used on the Indo-Bangladesh border in Assam's Dhubri district.