Works on Bhutan-India boundary pillars to resume

Border: The pending works to repair, maintain, and construct boundary pillars in three segments along the country’s border with neighbouring India will be sorted out in the 2015-2016 field season, a technical meeting in Phuentsholing discussed yesterday.

Bhutan’s international boundaries officials will meet the Indian counterpart next month to take forward the matter. Dungpas, dzongrabs, and other officials of the law enforcement agencies along the areas bordering India on the southern belt met with the Indian survey team and SSB officials yesterday.

The technical meet drew on finalizing the detailed work programs for resumption of joint inspection at four areas for the boundary pillars.

Finalization of detailed work program for joint survey in connection with construction of boundary wall around the Motanga Industrial Estate in Samdrupjongkhar area was also discussed.

February next year has been reserved, as a tentative time to meet and discuss this issue. In this, the counterpart officials were mainly concerned if the walls fell under urban or rural area and elaborated on the distance the wall must maintain.

“We are willing to send our team,” the international boundary director Sangay Dorji said.

The representative from the Indian counterpart has also agreed to support and jointly identify and inspect the location. Should the wall fall under rural area, the 10-metre distance from the no man’s land will be implemented, while it would be decided at 1.5 metre if the wall fell under the urban designated area.

As elections would be held in both the countries next year, the representatives also mentioned about information being made available through proper channel, should there be any changes.

Meanwhile, officials with the international boundaries in the country said the work plan meeting was mainly conducted keeping in mind the boundary pillars in three border segments. Following the joint inspection, the pillars will be repaired, maintained, and constructed depending on the cases.

There are 1,985 pillars along the boundary today. Officials said the conditions of pillars could be determined only after an inspection.

Director Sangay Dorji said the funding for repairing, maintenance works, and construction of pillars will be borne by the government of India.

Joint inspection, repair, reconstruction of damaged, missing boundary pillars will be considered for Nichu-Jaldaka-Jitti segment of West Bengal-Bhutan sector and Samtse/Chukha-Jalpaiguri/Alipurduar segment of West Bengal-Bhutan sector.

Arunachal Pradesh-Bhutan sector is another area the work plan aims to carry out for joint inspection, followed by repair and construction respectively.

Sangay Dorji said such meetings and inspections were carried every year between the two countries.

Phuentsholing thrompon Tsheten Dorji and Consul General of India in Phuentsholing, Pieyush Gupta also attended the meeting.

By Rajesh Rajesh,  Phuentsholing

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