The border guarding posts located on the icy heights of Himalayas, in the Thar desert or in the remote Northeast will soon get piped drinking water as the Centre is planning an ambitious project to provide potable water to the men on duty. The project will be implemented by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) with the help of the Ministry of the Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS), according to papers accessed by the PTI. The expected cost of the project is around Rs 6,000 crore. While the MHA will provide the funds, the MDWS will offer technical assistance and the state governments will implement it in their areas through their respective agencies. Under the project, the piped drinking water will be provided to Border Out Posts (BOPs) along Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, Bhutan, Nepal and Myanmar.
These borders are guarded by forces like the Border Security Force, the Indo Tibetan Border Police and the Sashastra Seema Bal. The BOPs being guarded by the ITBP are located at altitudes ranging from 9,000 feet to 18,700 feet. Personnel posted in inhospitable terrain are dependent on natural or local sources like springs, borewells or water tankers, a home ministry official said. Carrying water is difficult in remote and inhospitable areas, so in some places, local unit commandants are authorised to hire porters to carry it from nearby sources to the outposts. Senior officials of the MHA, the MDWS and from some of the states, which share international borders, have discussed the plan threadbare and are working for its proper implementation, the official said. The BOPs are located in forward areas in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, West Bengal, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim.