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Gaping hole in Indo-Bangla border through Karimganj

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  30 Aug 2015 12:00 AM GMT

* Kushiyara's changing course making border fixation difficult * Free movement regime in town through unfenced stretch

Length of Assam-Bangladesh border - 264 km

Riverine - 119 km

Intertiol border in Karimganj district 92 km

Riverine - 42 km

By Our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, Aug 29: The government is contemplating to study the pattern of the Kushiyara river flow in the last 150 years in a fresh bid to demarcate the Indo-Bangladesh border in the unfenced Karimganj town area.

Flanked on two sides by the Kushiyara river and Longai river, Karimganj town is located just on the Bangladesh border with the river Kushiyara flowing in between.

Karimganj district has a 92-km long border with Bangladesh. Out of this, 42 km stretch is riverine. Around 3 km of intertiol border in the town area is unfenced, as the barbed fencing work can be built only at a distance of 150 metres from the border according to an agreement between the two countries. A number of government offices besides residential areas fall within 150 metres from the Kushiyara river and all these will fall in no-man's land if a fencing is erected at 150 metres from the border (river bank).

The unfenced border has led to a virtual free movement regime, in the township.

New Delhi has now proposed to apply the 'Thalweg principle' to redefine the border in the riverine stretch. As per the Thalweg doctrine, the border between two states separated by a water course or flowing body is the line of greatest depth of the channel - generally the middle of the river.

"However, there is an assumption in the observation - that the flow of the river has to remain the same over the years in order to have a fixed boundary. However, if the river keeps changing its flow, surveys in different years could lead to different results," the government observed, referring to the regular surveys carried out to verify the border pillars.

"We may have to see the pattern of river flow of Kushiyara river for at least 150/100 years i.e. in the interval of 50 years and compare with the present system of flow, before we attempt to convert the riverine boundary into a fixed boundary. We have to establish that the river has stabilized and is not likely to change the course," New Delhi has said in a note to Assam government.

Assam shares a 264-km border with Bangladesh, of which 119 km is riverine.

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