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Border Areas of Punjab, India

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Border Areas of Punjab (Punjabi: ਪੰਜਾਬ ਦੇ ਸਰਹੱਦੀ ਇਲਾਕੇ) are the areas in Punjab, India that lies close to the India-Pakistan border, which is an international boundary. These mainly comprises the districts that border Pakistan and are located on the western part of the state. Although these areas show similarities with other areas of Punjab and the neighboring states, their shared experience of living along a volatile border has given them a distinct identity. Border Area Certificates are issued by the government to the residents of the areas along the designated international border.[1]


The geographical extent of these areas varies according to the parameters and distance from the boundary line used to define them. But the areas of the districts that border Pakistan are almost always counted in them. These districts are Pathankot, Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Taran Taran, Firozpur and Fazilka. The combined area of these districts is 14,711 km2.[2] These districts comprises the whole of the Indian side of Majha area and the western edge of Malwa. This forms a contiguous area.

These areas share about 425 kilometer long international border with Pakistan to their west.[3] The districts of Pakistan that lies along this border, in the order of north to south, are Narowal, Shekhupura, Lahore, Kasur and Okara.[4]


Guarding all the borders of the country was the responsibility of the state armed police till 1965. On 1st December, 1965 the Border Security Force (BSF) was created to guard the border. The central government of India decided to fence the border in 1986. The work on the fencing began in mid 1987.[5]

In November 2019, Kartarpur corridor was opened between Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara on the Pakistani side and Dera Baba Nanak on the Indian side.[6] In October 2021, central government of India extended the jurisdiction of Border Security Force (BSF) to 50 kilometer inside the Indian territory from the border in Punjab and other states. Earlier, this limit was 15 kilometer.[7] In November 2022, Finance Minister of Punjab asked central government of India for special industrial package of Rs 2,500 crore for the development of the border districts.[8] In June 2023, Punjab police created the Drone Emergency Response System (DERS) to fight the threat posed by drones from across the border. As of its creation, this system will operate in 108 villages in Amritsar (rural), Gurdaspur and Pathankot district. They are expected to stop the smuggling of drugs and weapons through drones.[9]


According to the 2011 census, all the border districts have a combined population of 617,508, which is 30.83% of the total population of Punjab. This area has population density of 41.97 persons per square kilometer.[10]


Agriculture is the primary occupation in these areas, but large amount of agricultural land near the border is behind the barbed wire fence. To farm this land, farmers to take permission from the Border Security Force (BSF) everytime. They can only stay in their land for a set amount of time, 9 am to 4 pm as of January 2017. There are other beurocratic difficulties that they have to face, which delay their crop cycles and they have to suffer during sale. According to a study, more than 17,000 acres of cultivated agricultural land belonging to about 11,000 families from 212 villages lie beyond the fence. The constant evacuations that the people living in the villages alongside the border have to go through during military high alerts also economically harms the people.[11][12]

Many schools in border areas are facing shortage of teachers and educational infrastructure like computer labs. The education department officials has blamed the shortage teachers on the reluctance of teachers to get posted in rural areas.[13]

Notable places[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. "How to get Border Area Certificate in Punjab?".
  2. "List of Districts of Punjab".
  3. "The Indian States which have common borders with Pakistan are __________________".
  5. Farmers at the Borderbelt of Pujab: Fencing and Forced Deprivation, In book: Mapping Social Exclusion in India (pp.237-252)
  7. "BSF says jurisdiction change along borders is to bring uniformity across states".
  10. "List of districts of Punjab".
  11. "In Border Villages of Punjab, a Life of Exclusion and Neglect".

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