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The Union Home Ministry has directed all central paramilitary and allied forces to replicate a “beehives on border fence” beekeeping model initiated by a BSF unit in West Bengal to boost employment opportunities for the locals and create a goodwill with them for strengthening security.

Official sources said the decision was made during a meeting on “scientific beekeeping and honey mission” that was chaired by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla at his office at North Block in April.

The model devised and implemented by the 32nd battalion of the Border Security Force (BSF) deployed to guard the India-Bangladesh International Border in West Bengal’s Nadia district was “lauded” during the meeting and a direction was issued to all Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) to adopt it in their respective areas of responsibility, a senior CAPF officer said.

Launched in November last year, the BSF unit in Nadia has installed close to 200 beehives on the India-Bangaldesh alloy-made border fence till now, with a multi-pronged aim of stopping border crimes like cattle, gold and narcotics smuggling and fence-cutting, and engaging the population in productive remuneration-based work.

Paramilitary forces like the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), and other forces like Assam Rifles, the National Security Guard (NSG) and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) do not have fences to guard but the model can be utilised by them as per their nature of duties, the officer said.

These forces, about 12 lakh in combined strength, are deployed for a variety of internal security tasks like guarding India’s International Borders, anti-Naxal operations, and counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency duties.

The aim of replicating the BSF West Bengal beekeeping model is to generate employment in remote locations, making friends and earning goodwill of the locals, who act as the “eyes and ears” in these areas from the security point of view, a senior BSF officer said.