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Centre blames Bengal for border fencing delay

NEW DELHI: Citing to the Supreme Court that 435 kms of international border with Bangladeshis yet to be fenced,

Centre blames Bengal for border fencing delay



NEW DELHI: Citing to the Supreme Court that 435 kms of international border with Bangladeshis yet to be fenced, the Centre on Tuesday accused West Bengal of hindering the process of safeguarding the border by not acquiring the land needed for fencing. It said fencing cannot be done for 112 kms of the border because of the terrain and technological solutions would be put in place to keep a watch.Responding to the apex court’s query on steps taken by the Centre to protect the international border on the northeast front to ward off infiltration, Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla filed an affidavit mentioning details of action taken by the government to deal with the problem of illegal immigrants entering into the country.
He told the court that out of the total 4,096.7 kms of international border with Bangladesh passes through Wert Bengal, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura and Assam, the feasible length for fencing is 3,922.2 km and non-feasible length is about 174.5 km.
Appearing for the Centre, solicitor general Tushar Mehta told a five-judge constitutional bench of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices Surya Kant, M M Sundresh, J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra that the international border with Assam if fully protected now with a 210 km fence and putting technological solution for the remaining 53 km which is not feasible for fencing. He said that the area of concern is West Bengal.
“It is submitted that despite all efforts, the progress has been substantially hindered due to the pending land acquisition issues with the government of West Bengal. The state has not adopted the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013. As per the Act, in cases of urgency, the government can take possession of any land needed for a public purpose and such land shall thereupon vest absolutely in the government. It is submitted that the State follows a far slower, more complex process of Direct Land Purchase Policy even for national security projects such as border fencing. Due to non-coperation from the state govt regarding resolving various issues of land acquisition, considerable delays have occurred in acquiring the necessary land, thereby impending the timely completion of fencing in West Bengal along Indo-Bangladesh border,” Mehta said while reading out the affidavit.
West Bengal shares about 2,216.7 km of border with Bangladesh and 78% of this border of feasible length has been covered by a fence.
Fencing has been completed for 1,645 km and 22 km is in progress. The balance 435 km is yet to be fenced and non-feasible stretch is approximately 112 km.
The affidavit also stated that 14,346 foreign nationals were deported from the country between 2017 and 2022.





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