Bangladesh nod for zero-line fencing
The Bangladesh government has in principle agreed to allow India to erect barbed wire fencing along the zero-line in at least 13 areas along the international border in Meghalaya, a senior official said on Sunday.
The decision was welcomed by border villagers in the hill state as there are many houses, cemeteries and shops that fall within the 150 yards of the international border. According to the Indira-Mujib pact of 1972, no permanent structure can be built within 150 yards of the border.
“Following India’s request, the Bangladesh government has in principle agreed to allow construction of fencing on zero-line in at least 13 areas of the state within the zero line,” the official said. Fencing at the identified areas along the zero line in East Jaintia Hills, West Jaintia Hills, East Khasi Hills and South West Khasi Hills districts will be taken up accordingly, he said.
The state government had identified those areas where erection of fencing 150 yards away from zero-line would not be feasible and as such approached the Centre to seek permission from Bangladesh, the official said. The matter is awaiting final nod from the Bangladesh government, as all line departments including the BGB, had sent their note of agreement on the matter, he said. Of the 443km international border in Meghalaya, about 100km was unfenced. Earthwork has begun for the remaining patches, he said.
Till date, some problems have cropped up during fencing on certain stretches of the border owing to existence of low-lying areas, human habitations, cemetery and cash crops within the 150 yards of the border, a BSF official.