GUWAHATI, Aug 24 � The Government of India is keen on settling the border disputes with Bangladesh before the two day visit of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to Dhaka beginning on September 6 and the joint survey of the disputed areas including the adverse possession areas has recently been completed.
Highly placed official sources told The Assam Tribune that though the joint survey by the surveyors of both the countries started last year, it had to be suspended on several occasions because of problems from the other side. The Government of Bangladesh was also keen on the joint survey but very often, the surveyors faced problems because of opposition from the people from across the border. It is alleged that in some parts, members of the BNP, which was against India's interests, also instigated the people to obstruct the joint survey.
Sources said that time and again, the Government had to persuade Bangladesh Government to allow the survey to continue and finally the joint survey in the disputed areas could be carried out. Sources said that most of the major disputes have been resolved during the joint survey and only the final agreement is to be signed.
Official sources said that in the Assam-Meghalaya sector of the international border, 551 acres of Bangladesh land is in adverse possession of India's. And 229 acres of India�s land is in adverse possession of Bangladesh. The disputes meant that the areas cannot be fenced till the disputes are settled.
However, the failure to construct road and fencing is not the only problem faced by Government in the adverse possession areas. The adverse possession areas in Pyrdwah in Meghalaya and Baraibari in Assam are considered two of the most vulnerable areas of the Indo-Bangla border, which even saw a major standoff between Border Security Force (BSF) and erstwhile Bangladesh Rifles (Now renamed as Border Guards Bangladesh) in 2001, resulting in the death of 16 BSF personnel.
Moreover, the areas witness disturbance from time to time and the people living in Pyrdwah and Baraibari have to live in constant fear that their villages might come under attack. Sources said that once the disputes are settled, the Government of India would be able to put up fencing in those areas and the people would be able to live in peace.
It may be mentioned here that the Government of Bangladesh has already agreed to allow India to put up fencing within 150 yards from the zero line where it is absolutely necessary, which is likely to expedite the putting up of the fencing and if the disputes are settled soon, the Government would be able to complete the fencing by the end of the year 2012 as schedule.