BIRGUNJ, June 28: As many as 849 border marker pillars have been missing along the border with India in Province no 2. Eight districts of the province share a 464-kilometre long stretch of the border with India from Gobargadha of Saptari district in the east to Thori of Parsa district in the west.
Out of the 4,027 border pillars erected along the border, 849 pillars are missing, according to the Armed Police Force (APF) Chhinnamasta Brigade Province no 2, Bardibas.
It said 2,064 border pillars are intact, 704 need to be repaired and 319 others have to be constructed anew. . While 91 have been washed away by rivers and rivulets, 849 others have gone missing, according to the Brigade.
The border problem between Nepal and India has been further compounded with the growing encroachment of the border. It is said the people from the India side have been encroaching the no-man's land on the border constructing houses and sheds and cultivating the land there.
APF Chhinnamasta Brigade's Deputy Inspector General Chandra Prakash Gautam said it is difficult to demarcate the Nepal–India border at many places due to missing border markers and the encroachment on the no-man's land. "We have been holding talks with our Indian counterparts from time to time to resolve the problem seen in the no-man's land as a result of missing pillars along the international border," he said.
It has come to light that the Indian citizens have encroached upon the no-man's land in many districts of Province no 2, settled there, cultivated the land and even constructed physical structures. For instance, they have constructed huts and sheds on the no-man's land at Inarwa Tol, cultivated on the no-man's land at Lachaka Tol in Madar, encroached upon the entire no-man's land at Lagdigoth Tol, cultivated crops on the no-man's land from Lagdi Gadiyani to Sanhaitha village, built settlement constructing houses and sheds on the no-man's land from Avaya Nagar to Thadi in Inarwa and constructed the Indian customs office encroaching the border at Thadi in Siraha district.
About 50 Indian families have been living on encroached no-man's land at Lagdigoth of Siraha. The Indian side has also moved the border pillar -253, seven metres into the Nepali territory and encroached the land there.
The Indian Seema Surakshya Bal (SSB) personnel have turned a blind eye towards all this and the SSB itself has encroached upon Nepali territory at Bariyapatti, the locals said.
Similarly, the Indian side has dumped earth on the no-man's land and encroached a section of it at Mahinathpur on the western border of Dhanusha district. The problem of encroachment by the Indian side on no-man's land of the border is not limited to Siraha and Dhanusha districts alone. Similar encroachment cases are reported in six other districts of Province 2.
The civil society of both countries have suggested the two countries' Governments to become serious toward resolving the border problem once and for all as this has become one of the most irritating factors in the relations between the two countries. Locals living in the border areas have called for a scientific demarcation of the Nepal-India border by determining the border marker pillars through the GPS system.