Lakhimpur Kheri (UP): Taking serious note of reports of illegal wooden bridges along the porous Indo-Nepal border being used to smuggle goods, district authorities today asked officials to dismantle them at the earliest.
Illegal wooden bridges on the Mohana River, which demarcates the borders between Kheri and Nepal, came to light a day back. Prohibited items like fertiliser and cement bags were being carried to Nepal through these make-shift wooden bridges.
Even tractor-trolleys with load of restricted goods were caught on camera wading through the shallow waters of Mohana.
Soon after the matter came to light, District Magistrate Abhishek Prakash and SP Rajendra Singh instructed the police, SSB and forest authorities to remove the illegal wooden structures with immediate effect.
DM Kheri Abhishek Prakash said, "Construction of wooden bridges on the Mohana River along the border was a serious matter as these structures could be used for smuggling and other criminal activities."
"Lack of coordination between various border security agencies including forest, police and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) has emerged as major reason behind these illegal wooden structures on the border river," he said.
"The forest department has been instructed to share the auction of various ghats for boat ferrying on the Mohana River so that SSB and the police authorities could verify the activities of the contractors," the DM said, terming the wooden bridges as "totally illegal and unauthorised".
"Auctions were made only for boat ferrying and not for bridges," he said.
"The divisional forest officer had been strictly warned to blacklist the errant contractors who erected wooden bridges and to lodge criminal cases against them," he said.
"The border security agencies were asked to coordinate to impose complete ban on cross-border smuggling of goods. They have been asked to ensure regular joint patrolling on the border to keep close vigil on any illegal activity," he added.