Land acquisition, wildlife clearance and protests by locals stymieing fencing work; deadline for completion extended to 2019
From a Correspondent
New Delhi, Oct 25: Even as the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) recently approved Rs 4,400 crore for the Indo-Bangla border fencing project, officials in the Union Home Ministry said that delay in land acquisition, pending wildlife clearance and protests by locals have been hampering the work.
Disclosing this to The Sentinel, a top official in the Union Home Ministry said that the governments of all Northeast states sharing borders with Bangladesh, have been asked to cooperate in the border fencing work.
"Although 88 percent of the total fencing work has been completed, work in many areas has been halted mainly due to protests by local people and land acquisition problems," said the official.
India and Bangladesh share a 4,096 km border, of which 262 kilometers is in Assam. The fencing work has been hampered in some parts of Dhubri and Karimganj.
According to reports, while the proposed alignment of the fence along Karimganj sector was initially at 30 metres from the bank of river Kushiara, the State government felt that many inhabited areas might fall beyond the fence towards the Bangladesh side.
Interestingly, in coordition with the tiol Buildings Construction Corporation Limited (NBCC), a fresh exercise was undertaken for re-alignment of the fence at a five-metre distance from the river, separating Karimganj from Bangladesh.
The Home ministry is still awaiting the report.
Similarly, land acquisition problems have been hampering the fencing work in West Bengal, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura. "All the state governments have been asked to cooperate to expedite the completion of border fencing work," the official said.
The CCS in its last meeting had extended the target date of completion of the project to 2019 as the March, 2014 target could not be met.