The central government wants to expedite the work of fencing the Bangladesh border. Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla on Friday discussed fencing, integrated checkposts, border posts and road projects along the international border with top officials of the West Bengal government. Home Ministry sources said, “The visit of the Union Home Secretary to Kolkata is in connection with the meeting with the Chief Secretary to discuss the pending land acquisition matters for border fencing and road projects, construction of border posts and integrated check posts. .’
According to sources, West Bengal Chief Secretary H.K. Dwivedi, Home Secretary B.P. Gopalika, Director General of Police Manoj Malviya and District Magistrates of at least ten districts were present. During the meeting, Bhalla emphasized that the Center is very concerned about the security along the international borders, a source said. He said that in this meeting, the pending land acquisition for border fencing, road projects, construction of border posts and integrated checkposts were also discussed.
No discussion on BSF’s jurisdiction, Mamata criticized
According to the source, there was no discussion on the issue of increasing the jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF) to 50 km from the international border. The central government recently amended the BSF Act to provide search, seizure and arrest powers to the force in areas up to 50 km instead of 15 km along the International Border in Punjab, West Bengal and Assam. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee criticized the Centre’s decision, saying it was a blow to the federal structure.
Barbed fence not working due to land acquisition issues
The source said, “The meeting discussed the acquisition of land for fencing the international border. A total of 289 km of barbed wire fencing is required along the international border, but it could not be completed due to land acquisition issues. Fencing is yet to be done in the 107 km border area.
West Bengal counts errors in border posts, protests
Meanwhile, senior officials of the West Bengal government opposed the proposed plan to set up border posts in the state, saying there were “lots of flaws” in it, the source said. A West Bengal government source said, “Our officials pointed out those mistakes and submitted a report in support of their claim.”
West Bengal shares an international border of more than 2,200 km with Bangladesh, about 183 km with Bhutan and 100 km with Nepal.