Didi agrees over 300 acres land for bor­der fenc­ing

■ The move came af­ter Ra­j­nath wrote to Ma­mata, whose Govt had been dither­ing for months over ac­quir­ing the land, lead­ing to a de­lay in con­struc­tion of a fence along the in­ter­na­tional bor­der

The Hitavada - - NATION -

WEST Ben­gal Chief Min­is­ter Ma­mata Ban­er­jee has agreed to Home Min­is­ter Ra­j­nath Singh’s re­quest to ac­quire 300 acres of land in the State and give it to the Cen­tre for con­struct­ing barbed wire fenc­ing along the In­di­aBangladesh bor­der, of­fi­cials said on Fri­day.

The move came af­ter the Home Min­is­ter wrote to the Chief Min­is­ter, whose Gov­ern­ment had been dither­ing for months over ac­quir­ing the land, lead­ing to a de­lay in con­struc­tion of a fence along the in­ter­na­tional bor­der, they said. Singh’s let­ter to Ban­er­jee, re­quest­ing her to ac­quire and hand over about 300 acres of land, has worked, a Home Min­istry of­fi­cial privy to the devel­op­ment said.

The fire­brand West Ben­gal leader en­joys cor­dial re­la­tions with the Home Min­is­ter, who is known to have friends across po­lit­i­cal par­ties and acts as an emis­sary of the Naren­dra Modi Gov­ern­ment when­ever nec­es­sary. With an agree­ment on hand­ing over the land, the long-de­layed con­struc­tion of the fenc­ing in the West Ben­gal sec­tor of the In­di­aBan­galdesh bor­der is ex­pected to start soon, the of­fi­cial said.

In­dia shares a 4,096-km bor­der with Bangladesh. Of this, 2,216 km falls in West Ben­gal. The bor­der in the State is in­fa­mous for a va­ri­ety of rea­sons such as il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tions and smug­gling of cat­tle and nar­cotics. The Home Min­is­ter had sent sim­i­lar let­ters to the Chief Min­is­ters of Ut­tar Pradesh, Megha­laya, Tripura and Bi­har, which helped re­solve pend­ing is­sues re­lated to the ac­qui­si­tion of land in the States, the of­fi­cial said.

The Home Min­is­ter on Fri­day also re­viewed the progress of var­i­ous projects be­ing un­der­taken along the borders with China, Pak­istan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Myan­mar.

Dur­ing the meet­ing, it was con­veyed to Singh that var­i­ous projects got de­layed due to the non­avail­abil­ity of en­vi­ron­ment clear­ances from State Gov­ern­ments.

The Home Min­is­ter asked the of­fi­cials present to pur­sue the mat­ter with the con­cerned Gov­ern­ments. Singh also re­viewed the progress of on­go­ing projects be­ing ex­e­cuted by the Land Ports Au­thor­ity of In­dia and the bor­der man­age­ment divi­sion un­der the Home Min­istry.

There was very good progress and In­te­grated Check Posts (ICPs) at five bor­der cross­ing points out of seven ap­proved projects have been com­pleted, an of­fi­cial state­ment said. Ter­mi­nals for smooth move­ment of goods and peo­ple at ICP Rax­aul and ICP Jog­bani on the In­dia-Nepal bor­der, ICP Pe­trapole and ICP Agar­tala on the In­dia-Bangladesh bor­der and ICP At­tari on In­dia–Pak­istan bor­der have been made func­tional.

At each ICP, fa­cil­i­ties have been con­structed for cus­toms clear­ance, im­mi­gra­tion, ware­houses for stor­age of goods, ap­proach roads and ter­mi­nal build­ings to ad­e­quately han­dle im­port and ex­port of goods and en­try and exit of peo­ple. Work on ICP Moreh on the In­dia-Myan­mar bor­der and ICP Dawki on In­dia-Bangladesh bor­der is in ad­vanced stage of com­ple­tion. The to­tal ap­proved ex­pen­di­ture for the seven ICPs is over Rs 700 crore, the state­ment said.

The Home Min­is­ter also di­rected of­fi­cials to take up con­struc­tion of an ad­di­tional 13 ICPs -Hili, Jaigaon, Gho­jadanga, Ma­hadipur, Changra­bandha, Ful­bari, Ru­paidiha, Kawr­puich­huah, Pan­i­tanki, Su­tarkandi, Su­nauli, Ban­basa and Bhithamore -- and the pas­sen­ger ter­mi­nal at Pe­trapole, the state­ment said.

Projects have been taken up for con­struc­tion of 18 coastal bor­der out­posts (BOPs) in Gu­jarat and im­prove­ment of bor­der flood­light­ing in Pun­jab and Ra­jasthan. Some float­ing BOPs have also been ap­proved in Gu­jarat and West Ben­gal.

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