557 border pillars missing on Indo-Nepal border : Report

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Kathmandu, Nov 3 (UNI) A total of 557 border pillars along Indo-Nepal border have gone missing, Nepal Police have said.

''It's mainly because of encroachment, erosion by various rivers and lack of awareness among locals about the border issue,'' the Kantipur quoted Armed Police Force as saying.

According to latest records of eastern regional headquarters of Armed Police Force (APF), only 1,108 border pillars in the border areas of Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari, Saptari and Siraha districts were found intact while records at the Survey Department show that altogether 1,665 pillars were erected in the same areas in the past.

The APF began keeping records of the pillars after the establishment of APF's Border Security Force two years ago.

Kantipur quoted Deputy Inspector General of APF, Krishna Kumar Tamang admitting ''lack of implementation of various issues pertaining to the border and pillars although authorities in both countries agreed on the issues during meetings.'' ''Now, our border posts are collecting information on the border pillars with its photographs and are also sending it to the Home Ministry via our headquarters,'' Mr Tamang said.

Border expert and former Director General of Survey Department, Buddhi Narayan Shrestha said works of joint mechanisms at central and local level have been stalled since the last 25 years.

''The joint committee of technicians at the central level and border committees at the district level, which are supposed to discuss the various border-related issues twice a year are ineffective for many years,'' he said.

The 1,800-kilometre-long open border has made the relations between the two sides very special since ancient time.

UNI XC ARB DS1605

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