“Senior officials of BGB (Border Guards Bangladesh) and BSF (Border Security Force) in a meeting have decided to conduct a joint survey from Nov 5 to decide the erection of border fencing along the zero line of the border,” a Tripura government official told reporters here.
Officials of the civil administrations, including surveyors, of the two countries would also accompany the BGB and BSF officials during the border survey.
A BSF spokesman told that in the meeting, BGB officials have assured all cooperation with the Indian authorities.
The meeting was held at southern Tripura’s border town Sabroom, 135 km south of Tripura capital Agartala. BSF’s Deputy Inspector General Rajiv Kapoor led the Indian side while the Bangladesh delegation was headed by BGB’s Khagrachari sector commander Colonel Mohammad Hassan Farid.
About 80 percent of the 856-km-long India-Bangladesh international border in Tripura has so far been fenced with double rows to check movement of militants, prevent infiltration, and curb border crimes and smuggling.
“More than 61 patches of the India-Bangladesh border with Tripura could not be fenced following objections by border villagers and numerous other problems,” the BSF spokesperson said.
“The Bangladesh government also has been objecting to the fencing at the zero line,” he added.
The Tripura government had asked the central government to build fences at the actual border (zero line) with Bangladesh to keep border markets, human habitats, roads and government set-ups inside the fencing.
According to international norms and a treaty between India and Bangladesh, barbed wire fencing has to be erected 150 yards inside each other’s territory from the zero line of the border.
The BSF official said: “Another meeting was recently held between senior officials of the BSF and BGB at Sidhai in western Tripura. The meeting had discussed erection of single row fencing instead of double row fencing in the desired and contentious areas.”
“BSF officials have handed over the proposal of single row fencing to their Bangladesh counterparts. Senior officials of BGB and BSF would also soon jointly visit the areas where the single row fencing would be built,” he added.
India is erecting a barbed wire fence and putting up floodlights along the 4,095-km India-Bangladesh border in West Bengal, Tripura, Assam, Meghalaya and Mizoram.