Centre likely to spend $3.7 billion to fence border with coup-hit Myanmar: Report

Citing national security, the central government earlier this year said that it would fence the border and end a decades-old visa-free movement policy with Myanmar for border citizens

Written By Arshdeep kaur
First Published27 Mar 2024
Representative Image
Representative Image (REUTERS)

The government of India is likely to spend nearly $3.7 billion to fence the country's 1,610-km border with coup-hit Myanmar within about a decade to prevent smuggling and other illegal activities, newswire Reuters reported on Wednesday citing a source. 

The government earlier this year, citing national security, said that it would fence the border and end a decades-old visa-free movement policy with Myanmar for border citizens. 

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government also said that the porous border will be fenced to maintain the demographic structure of its northeastern region.

Earlier this month, a government committee approved the cost for the fencing, which still needs to be approved by the Union cabinet, Reuters reported quoting the source.

No government officials from either India or Myanmar have commented on the development.

Thousands of civilians and troops have fled from Myanmar to India since a military coup in the country in 2021. The risk of communal tensions due to this movement has got the Centre worried.

Some BJP leaders have also attributed the tension in Manipur to the porous border of Myanmar.

For nearly a year now, Manipur has been engulfed by a civil war-like situation between two ethnic groups, one of which shares lineage with Myanmar's Chin tribe.

The government committee also agreed to build parallel roads along the fence and 1,700 km of feeder roads connecting military bases to the border, the Reuters report said.

According to the report, the fence along Myanmar border and the adjoining road will cost nearly 125 million per km. This is more than double that of the 55 million per km cost for the border fence with Bangladesh built in 2020.

The difference is price is said to be because of the difficult hilly terrain of the Myanmar border and the use of technology to prevent intrusion and corrosion.

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