Pothashang News Service: Imphal, July 12, 2018: Manipur chief minister Nongthombam Biren Singh has said the state government has written the Centre to send a survey team of the government of India to conduct verification on the positions of subsidiary pillars between main Border Pillar No. 80 to 82 along the India-Myanmar boundary and more particularly main Border Pillar No. 81 in the presence of all stakeholders so as to clear doubts in the minds of the general public.
In a press conference held on Thursday at the chief minister’s secretariat Biren Singh refuted the recent allegation of shifting of the main Border Pillar No. 81 into Manipur side.
Asserting that BP 81 is still at the same site where it was erected as per the India-Myanmar Boundary Agreement, 1967, the chief minister expressed deep concern over wrongly informing the public by certain sections as if BP 81 was shifted inside Manipur’s territory during the tenure of the present state government.
As the said issue has caused anxiety and doubts in the minds of the general public, the state government is making all out efforts to address the issue, taking into consideration the interests of the state and sentiments of the general public, he added.
Biren said after a local newspaper reported about the alleged loss of a sizable piece of Manipur’s land to Myanmar on June 26 June 2018, the state government on June 27 wrote to the government of India and requested to issue an advisory to the Joint Survey Team to put on hold the survey work till the issue is resolved.
The state government received a letter on June 29 from the Union ministry of home affairs which stated that this segment (BP 80 to 82) has been long settled and there is no ambiguity about the alignment of the boundary, Biren said while adding that the only work that was being undertaken, as the state government is aware and is on joint survey for putting up subsidiary pillars and identifying encroachments, if any.
The Ministry asked the state government to inform if it would like to conduct verification or visit the site, so that the concerned officials could be sent to Manipur for the same, Biren added.
The chief minister said, earlier on March 5, the government of India wrote to the chief secretary, Manipur informing that a Survey of India team would be reaching on March 12 for the Joint Survey Work of the two countries for survey and construction of subsidiary pillars between main BP 80 to 82.
The Joint Survey Team so conducted was for erection of subsidiary pillars between BP 80 to 82 while main BP 81 was left untouched. During the joint survey conducted from March 12, to June 12, no written or verbal complaint about the position of main BP 81 was lodged with either the survey team or authorities concerned, Biren said.
The chief minister further said DC and SP Tengnoupal visited Kwatha on December 1 last to inform the villagers about the survey of subsidiary pillars.
Biren also showed old boundary maps of Manipur and Myanmar of 1913 and 1957 to media persons to make clear that there has been no alteration in the location of BP 81 so far.
In view of the concerns raised on the issues of international boundary vis-a-vis traditional boundary, the state government has been holding consultations with several stakeholders including the United Committee Manipur (UCM).
Biren further said he had met the representatives of UCM on Wednesday and compared notes on traditional boundary in the backdrop of 1967 Boundary Agreement and old maps (1913 and 1957) from government records.