Alignment controversy halts road construction work near Manipur border

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India-Myanmar joint survey at BP-82 commences

IMPHAL, July 11 (Newmai): Officials of India and Myanmar on Thursday started a joint survey at the controversial Indo-Myanmar border pillar 82.

The joint survey is being conducted in the wake of the ban on construction of a road on Manipur side of the international border by the Myanmar authority, claiming the land lies within their (Myanmar) territory.

The survey further aimed to settle the alleged re-allocation of BP-82 towards India (Manipur) from its original location.

The Myanmar authority has banned the construction of a road to connect three villages of Manipur close to the international border on the alleged ground that the road’s alignment runs 230 meter inside Myanmar territory.

At the same time, villagers of a border village (Nungkam Satang) came up with a strong allegation of BP-82 being removed from its original place and got erected at a place 300 metres towards India.

In the joint survey started on Thursday, the Indian team, led by deputy commissioner of Tengnoupal district H Rupachandra, included officials of district police and 12 Assam Rifles including its commanding officer among others.

The Myanmar team is reportedly led by deputy commissioner of Tamu district of Myanmar.

The joint survey was necessitated as the construction of inter-village road which would connect Kwatha Khunou, Molphei and Nongkam Satang was banned by the Myanmar authority, claiming that road’s alignment runs 230 m inside the territory of Myanmar.

The road construction was being taken by the state government of Manipur under PMGSY (Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana) scheme, a Central sponsored scheme.

The ban was imposed by Myanmarese officers who came near Nungkam Satang village, about one km away from BP 82 on July 5 last and demanded a halt to cutting of hill slopes for construction of a road under PMGSY.

Following the intervention by Myanmar officials, all the work related with the road construction remained suspended and workers engaging in the work returned to Kwatha Khunou together with their machineries.

Even as the Myanmar authority claimed running the road alignment inside Myanmar territory, the villagers at the border villages have been strongly alleging that BP 82 was found erected about 300 m away towards Manipur territory against its original place.

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