Central envoy to inspect border fencing

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Aizawl, Apr 8 (UNI) Border management secretary in the Union home ministry Shantanu Consul would take stock of the situation at the ongoing Indo-Bangla border fencing in Mizoram today.

His visit is in response to the Mizoram government's memorandum to the Centre that the border fencers, National Building Construction Corporation(NBCC), National Projects Construction Corporation and Engineering Projects India Limited(EPIL) had given away large portion of Mizoram in the process of border fencing.

Acting on complaints from Chakma residents near the Bangladesh border, Mizoram chief secretary Haukhum Hauzel had verified at the spot during February that the contractors were fencing the border in such a manner that Mizoram had to sacrifice large area of land against the guidelines.

''In Bindiasora village, about 80 families were already outside the border thanks to the fencing,'' Mr Hauzel said, adding that the Indian villagers along the border were now prevented by the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) from getting sand from the river which used to be their main source of income.

Mr Hauzel conveyed to the Centre the 'critical' situation the affected villagers were in, particularly in terms of resettlement.

''As soon as I returned to Aizawl, I wrote a letter to the Centre, copy of which I sent to the Mizoram Governor who was in Delhi at that time. In response, the Centre has now sent an emissary,'' the chief secretary said.

Sources alleged that the contractors had been fencing the border according to their convenience thereby violating the guidelines which say that fencing should be constructed 150 to 200 metres away from the actual border.

The government had been fencing the 318 km-long India-Bangladesh border stretch in Mizoram which might displace 5,790 Chakma tribal families comprising 35,438 people from 49 villages. The NBCC had been fencing the major portion of the border.

UNI ZS PL RSA RK1404

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