SHILLONG, May 22 - Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma today informed the State Assembly that fencing works are going on along the 444.857-km border that Meghalaya shares with Bangladesh. An area of 329.160 km has already been fenced, and works are on to cover another stretch of 46.970 km.
In a 12.318-km stretch, fencing is not feasible and in another 60.533-km stretch, there is no fencing. Sangma said objection from certain NGOs has stalled fencing works on a large tract along the border.
“It is a very complicated issue…things are now moving forward and once the final survey is done, most of the issues will be resolved. I think we are reaching more or less a final conclusion,” the Chief Minister said during the Question Hour of the ongoing Budget Session of the House.
Sangma pointed out that fencing has been erected from the zero line in certain pockets of the State. He said that such fences are mostly located in the Jaintia Hills sector.
Fences cannot be erected from the zero line due to objection from Bangladesh. These are erected from 150 yards of the border.
The Chief Minister pointed out that fencing erection from the zero line was made possible in some areas after India and Bangladesh signed an agreement and discussions were held between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart, Sheikh Hasina.
After the agreement was signed and the 119th Amendment to the Constitution was effected, exchange of enclaves and adverse possessions between India and Bangladesh took place. Meghalaya gained a 1.43-km area through the exchange of areas under adverse possession.
Due to this exchange, Pyrdiwah, an area of adverse possession over which India and Bangladesh troops had earlier clashed, is now inside the boundary of India.