NEW DELHI, March 16 – The schedule date for completion of the ongoing fencing and flood lighting projects along Indo-Bangladesh border has been revised to March 2012.The Ministry of Home Affairs has cited various constraints at the field level in implementation of the fencing and flood lighting like delay in land acquisition, public protests, construction within 150 yards of zero line and statutory clearances under the Forest and Wildlife Acts.
The Government of India has approved long term comprehensive projects of fencing and patrol roads along the Indo-Bangladesh border, which is being implemented in a phased manner. The first phase was completed in 2000. Besides these, replacement of fencing constructed under phase I is also being taken up under Phase II project, Minister of State for Home Affairs, M Ramachandran said in a Rajya Sabha reply.
The Centre has incurred an expenditure of Rs 4214 crore for construction of fences under the two phases completing 2735 Km of the total 3436.59 Km. The cost of replacing the 861 Km of fences under Phase III is estimated at Rs 695 crore.
The cost of floodlighting 3117 Km is estimated at Rs 361 crore. So far only 877 Km of the border has been floodlighted, he added.
Meanwhile, the Minister confirmed reports of foreign nationals from neighbouring countries, particularly from Bangladesh having entered into the country without valid documents. As entry of such foreign nationals is clandestine and surreptitious, it is not possible to have a correct estimate of the number of such illegal immigrants living in the country, Ramachandran said.
Meanwhile, Protection Forum for Bengalee Hindus of Assam urged upon Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi to release all persons detained in jails and withdraw all cases registered against Bengalee Hindus from Bangladesh pending in Foreigners’ Tribunal and honour Supreme Court’s verdict in favour of Immigrant (Expulsion from Assam) Act, 1950 section.
It wanted the Government of India to grant citizenships at par with the migrants from Pakistan as per Citizenship Amendment Act, 2005 and compensate all victims of error.
The organisation further called upon BJP national president, Nitin Gadkari to raise the issue in the Parliament.