However, the situation is that these border markers are not at their proper location. It is said 94 such border pillars are missing in Bardiya. Noone really knows where these border pillars have gone. Among the 103 missing pillars on this stretch of the Nepal-India border, seven are said to be main pillars, five subsidiary ones and 78 are smaller pillars.
Similarly, nine border pillars, including four main and five subsidiary ones are missing in Banke district. India’s Baharaich district borders the Banke and Bardiya districts of Nepal. Banke shares about 65 kilometres and Bardiya about 80 kilometres border with India. The local Mankhola stream separates Banke and Bardiya districts.
There are 307 border pillars in Banke sector of the Nepal-India border. These include 32 main pillars and 275 subsidiary ones. Twenty seven of the main pillars are in good condition while four have been washed away by the stream. One of the main pillars needs to be reconstructed. Although 246 subsidiary border pillars are said to be in good condition, 21 need to be repaired. Three subsidiary pillars required to be reconstructed while five such pillars have been washed away by the stream.
In the Bardiya sector, 72 border pillars, including 31 main pillars, 40 subsidiary ones and one small pillar needed to be repaired. Four main border pillars have to be reconstructed. Similarly, 12 subsidiary ones and 31smaller ones need to be reconstructed. In this sector, seven subsidiary pillars and 25 smaller ones have been washed away by the river.
According to the records of Survey Department, the area from the pillar number 42 which is based in Mankhola to the pillar number 98 located at the Karnali River is mentioned as the Bardiya section and the area from Mankhola to Gurjengauri is named the Banke section. The field survey team keeps the records of missing pillars, dealing with the works relating to the reconstruction and repairing of the border pillars.
The team comprises officials concerned from Nepal and India. The team also has been unable to complete the works on time. It is learnt to have started its works from the east. The Armed Police Force (APF) squad has been deputed to guard the border towards Nepali territory. The APF border outposts have been set up in a gap of 13 to 20 kilometers. However, the Indian side has deputed the Seema Suraksha Bal (SSB) force in a distance of around five kilometers to guard the border.
“There is a way towards Indian side which is being used for the border encroachment by the Indian side,” locals complained. There is a massive presence of SSB force along the border area. The SSB force is seen conducting a patrol in a distance of each one to two kilometers along the no man’s land. The presence of Nepali security force on the Banke section seems weak.
A limited number of security forces has been deputed for the border surveillance. The case is different towards Indian side. The APF No 3o Battalion Bageshwori has set up security beats at Nepalgunj customs office, Kalabanjar, Gangapur, Narainapur and Suiya among others. “We have been regularly conducting patrolling in the bordering areas,” informed Battalion Chief of Armed Police Force (APF)’s Superintendent of Police (SP) Deepak Adhikari, adding, “We also have been inspecting the state of the border pillars routinely.”
Furthermore, joint patrolling by the border security forces of the both countries were also held weekly or on the need basis in the bordering areas here, according to SP Adhikari. He added that Nepal’s security officials hold occasional discussions with their Indian counterparts on the issues related to border security. APF has clarified that repair of border pillar does not fall under their jurisdictions.
SP Adhikari explained, “We are only assigned for border security and not tasked to undertaking works like maintenance of border pillars. We have inadequate number of human resources for border security.” According to him, the five units have to inspect border areas within 65 kilometres of radius.
The locals in the no man’s land said that the presence of border security force was scarce in the bordering areas. According to them, the Indian sides seem to conduct patrolling thickly in comparison to Nepali side.
Chief District Officer (CDO) of Banke district Kumar Bahadur Khadka affirmed that the border security forces of Nepal was conducting patrolling regularly and preparation was afoot to expand more units of the forces. APF, with its headquarters at Mahendranagar, Banke, has been mobilized in the district’s customs offices for prevention of revenue leakages as well as in the industries as an industrial security force. RSS