Agartala, March 5 (IANS): Bangladesh has rejected India's proposal to erect border fencing at the zero line along the border, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar told the State Assembly today.
"Erection of border fencing at the zero line, instead of 150 yards inside India, is crucial to protect many government installations, markets, roads and human habitations," Sarkar told the house during a discussion. He said that even Agartala airport, many tourist places, temples, markets and sub-divisional towns and government assets have fallen within the 150 yards from the zero line of the border in Tripura.
According to international norms and an India-Bangladesh agreement, the barbed wire fencing has to be built 150 yards inside India from the zero line of the boundary.
"Bangladesh government has agreed to allow India to construct the border fencing in few selected patches, only not all along the border," Sarkar said.
Cutting across political affiliations, the legislators from both ruling Left and opposition Congress urged the government to build the fencing along the zero line of the border to protect thousands of home, farm land, government and private assets and many vital installations.
The Chief Minister told the agitated legislators that of the 7,774 badly affected families, whose houses have fallen outside the fencing, 4,651 families were so far sanctioned houses under the Indira Awas Yojana (IAY).
"Paddy fields, lands and various farms of thousands of farmers had fallen outside the fence, putting them in an awkward position. The state government had long back sent a Rs.93 crore project to the centre to rehabilitate the affected families but it has yet to respond," he said.
According to a senior State government official, over 8,750 families comprising over 50,000 people in the State have so far been affected by the ongoing construction of the barbed wire fencing along the border as their homes, farm lands and other assets have fallen outside the fencing.
India is erecting a fence and putting up flood lighting all along the 4,095-km India-Bangladesh border in West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya and Mizoram to check trans-border movement of militants, prevent infiltration and check border crimes.