Eight hundred and forty nine border marker pillars have been missing along the border with India in Province no 2. Eight districts of the province share 464 kilometres border with India from Gobargadha of Saptari district in the east to Thori of Parsa district in the west.
Out of the 4,027 border pillars along the border, 849 are missing, according to the Armed Police Force (APF) Chhinnamasta Brigade Province no 2, Bardibas.
It is said that 2,064 border pillars are intact, 704 need to be repaired, 319 have to be constructed anew, 91 have been washed away by rivers and rivulets and 849 have gone missing.
Moreover, rather than being addressed the border problem between Nepal and India has been further compounded with the growing encroachment of the border by the Indian side.
It is said the people from the India side have been encroaching the no-man's land on the border constructing houses and sheds and cultivating the land there.
APF Chhinnamasta Brigade's Deputy Inspector General Chandra Prakash Gautam said it is difficult to demarcate the Nepal –India border at many places due to the missing border markers and the encroachment on the no-man's land.
"We have been holding talks with our Indian counterparts from time to time for resolving the problem seen in the no-man's land due to the missing border pillars on the international border," he said.
It has come to light that the Indian citizens have encroached upon the no-man's land in many districts of Province no 2, settled there, cultivated the land and even constructed structures. For instance, they have constructed huts and sheds on the no-man's land at Inarwa Tol, cultivated on the no-man's land at Lachaka Tol in Madar, encroached upon the entire no-man's land at Lagdigoth Tol, cultivated crops on the no-man's land from Lagdi Gadiyani to Sanhaitha village, built settlement constructing houses and sheds on the no-man's land from Avaya Nagar to Thadi at Inarwa and constructed the Indian customs office encroaching the border at Thadi in Siraha district.
About 50 Indian families have been living on encroached no-man's land at Lagdigoth of Siraha. The Indian side has also moved the border pillar -253, seven metres into the Nepali territory and encroached the land there.
The Indian Seema Surakshya Bal (SSB) personnel have turned a blind eye towards all this and the SSB itself has encroached upon Nepali territory at Bariyapatti, the locals have charged.
Similarly, the Indian side has dumped earth on the no-man's land and encroached a section of it at Mahinathpur on the western border of Dhanusha district.
This problem of encroachment by the Indian side on no-man's land of the border is not only confined to the Siraha and Dhanusha districts alone, it is witnessed in the six other districts of the province as well.
The civil society of both countries have suggested the two countries' Governments to be serious regarding resolving, once and for all, the border problem which has become a headache for the local administrations, people's representatives and the bodies concerned, and for the betterment of the bilateral ties.
The locals of the border areas have called for a scientific demarcation of the Nepal-India border by determining the border marker pillars through the GPS system. (Field-based reporting)