The Border Security Force, the first responder against any attack along the Pakistan border, has decided to upgrade its war stores including artillery guns and firing systems for which it has sought a whopping Rs 100 crore budget sanction.
The border guarding force, which has over 20 artillery regiments, exclusive with any paramilitary in the country, has decided to modernise its weapons and armoury on the lines of the Army which has integrated its firing systems with the help of computer-based synchronised technology.
"As part of the modernisation drive in the force, we have decided to upgrade the artillery unit of the force.The proposal has been prepared and will be sent to the Home Ministry soon. This will require a separate budgetary allocation of Rs 100 crore," BSF Director General (DG) Subhash Joshi told PTI.
The DG said the medium-range guns and other mortar shelling weapons possessed by the force need to be put on a digital and electronic platform, on the lines of the Army, so that in any exigency or emergency the force could respond effectively.
This decision, officials said, has been taken after many decades and was prompted by the new doctrine of modern warfare and challenges of securing sensitive borders.
The force, which forms the first line of defence along India's sensitive border with Pakistan is tasked with guarding the International border under the operational command of the Army.
The battalions of the paramilitary are spread across border posts in the states of Gujarat, Punjab, Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir.
Officials said while the force possesses the military weapons might in its armoury, the need of the hour is to keep in mind the strategies of modern warfare which will warrant immediate mobilisation of multiple platforms to combat the enemy.
The projected budget requirement for this programme includes the training of BSF troopers and men on the electronic firing platforms and procuring spares for various batteries and technical accessories for the system.
The 48-year-old largest border guarding force of the country has seen all the full-fledged wars and conflicts India had with Pakistan and its men and officers have fought with the Army shoulder-to-shoulder on the frontier.
The BSF has also used its artillery units in these various confrontations.
Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar recently had underlined the role of the force during its Raising Day in December last year.
During the event, Kumar had recalled memories about the border guarding force which was raised on December 1, 1965.
"In 1971, my father (Babu Jagjivan Ram) was the defence minister, when the Bangladesh Liberation War took place and he would say, 'If the Army has a contribution to the war, the role of BSF in it is no less'. He was a great admirer of your bravery and gallantry," she had said addressing the force personnel.
The BSF at present has close to 2.5-lakh men and women in its ranks.