India’s internal security surveillance is set to get a boost, with the Centre working towards satellite mapping of all sensitive areas of the country. The development follows other heightened surveillance measures across the country to counter an increase in infiltrations in the recent past. While the Indian army has beefed up its anti infiltration grid along the border with Pakistan, the Border Security Force has stepped up surveillance along the international border shared with both Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Senior union home ministry officials, familiar with the development, have confirmed that the Centre was working with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to step up surveillance.
“There will be constant surveillance at all areas of interest, particularly sensitive border areas where infiltration attempts are higher. All such areas will be optically visible – this means that areas that are all above ground will be manned by the satellite," said a senior home ministry official, requesting anonymity.
While the modalities of the project are still in the process of being outlined, the Centre’s Technical Consultancy Group (TCG) is in the process of sketching out areas which will be put under satellite surveillance.
“The next war will be cyber warfare. We are developing capabilities in this regard. We are also involving and upgrading ourselves on space technology, UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicle), surveillance technologies, etc so that we are ready for future," Central Reserve Police Force director general A.P Maheshwari said on Tuesday.
Another official familiar with the developments said the government was in the process of “capitalizing on all available technologies to ramp up internal security surveillance in the country."
“The satellite imagery will have the capability to zoom into the most remote corners, using highly sophisticated technology so that any suspicious movement can be tracked by security forces," said the official.
Mint’s queries to ISRO remain unanswered till the publishing of the story.
While the officials did not disclose which satellite would be used for this purpose, ISRO’s Cartosat-3 satellite, earlier this month, had released images of sites in Qatar captured by the panchromatic (PAN) cameras of Cartosat-3, launched into space in November 2019.
Cartosat-3 has on board PAN cameras with a ground resolution of 25cm, the highest-ever achieved by India. This means that the sensors of the camera can detect a feature of that size (25cm) from an altitude of 506km in which Cartosat-3 orbits.