Work on the 3220-Km long border wall between the United States and Mexico is gathering steam at last and the prototypes are expected to be ready by September. According to US Customs and Border Protection, these prototypes will come up in San Diego and will be of different types like reinforced concrete or some other material that will provide see-through capability.

The locations have been identified and will be in close proximity to each other. These walls, in due course, will be a part of the main wall and the selected firms will have to ensure completion of the prototypes by September.

The action plan

New Zealand Herald reports that there have been delays in the border wall which is a pet project of President Donald Trump – he wants to prevent the entry of illegal immigrants into the United States via this route. That was his commitment when he was on his presidential campaign and the work is, at last, getting some attention. He had said that Mexico would have to bear the cost of the wall which Mexico has refused. In spite of that, the contracting process is moving ahead.

The amount of funds necessary to build the wall is not yet sanctioned but Congress has earmarked $20 million in the current budget towards building the prototypes. According to Customs and Border Protection, the number of companies who have expressed willingness to participate in the project is more than 200.

The initial plan was to award contracts by June 12 so that could begin by July 21 but the dates have slipped due to unavoidable reasons.

Border Wall of solar panels

The 3220-Km long border wall between Mexico and the United States is a major project and availability of funds is, undoubtedly, a stumbling block. The budget of 2018 has projected a requirement of $2.6b towards this activity.

The breakup is tentatively fixed under two heads – (i) $1.6b for "bricks and mortar construction" and (ii) $1b for infrastructure and technology that would include communication links to the construction sites as well as surveillance equipment.

President Donald Trump had recently said at a rally in Iowa that the wall would be self-financing if it were made of solar panels.

However, Ronald Vitiello, the agency's acting deputy commissioner, is not aware of any such proposal from the White House. He said that the agency is interacting with the industry to explore various possibilities and alternate materials to reduce the cost but was not aware of any solar-powered wall.

Incidentally, the wall will not be feasible on at least 210-Km along the border because of the presence of natural barriers like lakes, rivers, and a mountain range.

The wall is supposed to keep out illegal immigrants and unwanted elements from entering America. Most of them try to enter through this route knowing fully well about the dangers involved. However, media reports reveal that the number of such cross-overs has already dropped significantly even without the wall.