Govt clueless about missing border pillars

Published On: November 9, 2016 08:10 AM NPT By: Bhim Chapagain

ILAM, Nov 8: Government officials are clueless about the missing border pillars in Ilam district.

The Department of Land Reform and Management is yet to find the 45 border pillars built along the Nepal-Indian border from Manebhajang to Jirmale. Although, they have prepared a report regarding the missing pillars, the border management authorities are yet to decide on the rebuilding process.

Since the border area is left open to both sides, there have been many cases of transgression. 

A joint monitoring carried out by the DoLRM and its Indian counterpart in June 2013 found that three big pillars (80, 81, and 82) of Jirmale, 10 subsidiary pillars and 29 minor pillars were missing. Three reflector pillars to indicate the missing pillars were also missing. 

According to the department, there should have been 107 pillars of all three types in the region. In paper, there should have been five big pillars, 43 subsidiary pillars and 45 minor pillars. But, whatever is left are also in poor condition. Punya Prasad Paudel, the head of the monitoring team, said that the 62 remaining pillars located in-between Manebhanjang and Jirmale need to be repaired immediately. Also, all five of the big pillars need to be replaced while 43 subsidiary pillars and 14 minor pillars have to be renovated. 

According to Paudel, the pillars in the jungle areas were intact during the time of survey. However, no study has been conducted to determine the current status of the pillars located in the jungle areas.

The Nepalese living in the Nepal-India border area had also complained to the team about assaults from Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) stating that they frequently came into their area and create trouble. According to them, SSB personnel have been beating them and threatening them for no reason.  

The joint monitoring team also found that people of both sides were trying to encroach upon the no-man-land between India and Nepal. The latest case of transgression has been the India-built monastery at Fatak near Pashupatinagar, with a budget of almost ten million Indian rupees. 

The Department of Urban Development has been given the task of commissioning the reconstruction and repair of these border pillars, but it is yet start the work. 

As per the understanding between India and Nepal, India is to reconstruct the even number pillars and Nepal has to reconstruct the odd number pillars along this area.

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