The West Champaran districts officials in Bihar said that the Nepal government has started construction of a helipad at a disputed location on the Indo-Nepal border near Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR) in West Champaran district.
At the same time, Indian officials in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand objected to Nepal authorities installing 360 degree CCTV cameras in No-man’s land between the borders of the country countries.
The discontent, simmering on the border, has been growing since Nepal decided to include certain parts of Uttarakhand in its new map inviting strong objections from India with New Delhi dismissing Kathmandu’s fresh territorial claims as untenable and without any historical evidence.
“To the best of our knowledge, construction of the helipad meant for small choppers started a few days back on the disputed area,” said Commandant Rajendra Bhardwaj of 21st SSB Battalion.
The helipad is near completion at Narsahi village, a short distance from Thari border outpost of Sashatra Seema Bal (SSB) near VTR, 80 km from Bettiah, headquarters of West Champaran district, he said, adding that he would send a report to the headquarters soon.
In the western part of India-Nepal border in Uttarakhand’s Champawat district, the authorities on Thursday raised objection to the installation of omni-directional CCTV cameras by Nepalese personnel near the disputed land and asked Nepal officials to remove them, said Indian officials aware of the development.
District magistrate Champawat, Surendra Narayan Pandey, who attended the meet with Nepal officials on Tuesday, said, “The Nepalese side had installed CCTV cameras a few days ago at the border. When the meeting was held, the SSB from our side raised the issue before Nepal since Omni-directional CCTV cameras pose an obvious risk of monitoring of Indian security agencies.”
“The Nepalese authorities reasoned that the cameras were meant to keep an eye on activities on their side of the border but we asked them to replace the 360 degrees cameras with uni-directional CCTV cameras, placed away from the Indian side of the border. They said they will consider the request,” added Pandey.
RK Tripathi, SSB Commandant near the Indo-Nepal border confirmed the development and said, “We raised several issues in the meeting but didn’t get any assurance from their side. They just said that they will try to solve them by dialogues.”
The informal meeting was attended by Champawat District Magistrate, Indian side Police Superintendent (SP), Champawat and Sashastra Seema Bal Commandant (SSB). The Nepalese side consisted of Kanchanpur district chief district officer (equivalent to DM in India) adjacent to the Nepal border, SP Kanchanpur and SP Armed Police Force (SSB counterpart).
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