India, Nepal agree to complete field work in border

 Nepal and India have formed two panels to look into the boundary issue for the first time and finalised the terms of reference (ToRs) of the Boundary Working Group (BWG).

IANS| Updated: Sep 19, 2014, 18:52 PM IST

Kathmandu: Nepal and India have formed two panels to look into the boundary issue for the first time and finalised the terms of reference (ToRs) of the Boundary Working Group (BWG).

The first meeting of the Nepal-India Boundary Working Group that concluded in Kathmandu Friday finalised the composition of the BWG which is at surveyor-general level from both sides, its terms of reference.

The meeting also decided the composition and terms of reference of its subordinate bodies, namely the Survey Officials` Committee and Field Survey Team, according to a statement issued here by Nepal`s ministry of foreign affairs.

Surveyor Generals Nagendra Jha and S. Subba Rao led the Nepali and Indian delegations in the meeting.

"The agreed functions of BWG include construction, restoration and repair of boundary pillars; carrying out GPS observation of boundary pillars; development of modalities to address crossholding and encroachment of no-man`s land and to provide the technical inputs, when asked, to the foreign secretary-level mechanism on outstanding boundary issues," the statement said.

The meeting finalised the tentative programme for field works for the next three years, said the statement. It was also agreed that a meeting of the Survey Officials` Committee would be held in India before December 2014 and that the next meeting of the BWG would be held in India before September 2015.

Ahead of the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Nepal in first week of August, the two sides had agreed to set up the BWG to look into border-related issues and to settle down the boundary row between Nepal and India, particularly in Susta and Kalapani area.

The BWG is also taking up the work that has remained to be accomplished since the expiry, in 2007, of the mandate of the Joint Technical-level Nepal-India Boundary Committee that was established in 1981.

The technical level committee had prepared a 182-sheet map of India-Nepal border in 2007. Signed at the technical level, the maps await ratification from higher authorities of both sides. According to Nepali estimation, over 8,000 pillars, including 640 in rivers, are required to demarcate the Nepal-India border. On land, 1,240 pillars have been missing.

According to the Survey Department of Nepal, some 2,500 pillars should be maintained or renovated and 400 constructed.