India-Nepal border demarcation
Kathmandu, Nov 25, The over 1,800-km open border between India and Nepal that is one of the biggest thorns in bilateral ties is being freshly demarcated with 98 percent of the new survey completed, Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said here Tuesday, adding that all “differences and divergences” on border issues would be resolved soon.Mukherjee, the most senior Indian official to visit Nepal since the formation of a Maoist-led government in the Himalayan republic following elections in April, met Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” to discuss a wide gamut of bilateral issues, ranging from border disputes to Nepal’s aim to draft a new constitution in two years.
Describing the nearly 45-minute long talks as “extremely fruitful”, the Indian minister said 98 percent work to update the border between India and Nepal had been completed.
Nepal, he said, had asked for changes in “one or two places” and as soon as they were implemented, the plenipotentiaries of the two neighbouring countries would ink a new boundary map pact.
India and Nepal share a number of Himalayan rivers and the border between the two countries is demarcated on the basis of the river courses. However, as the rivers changed their path over the years, there has been growing allegations of encroachment by both sides.
Mukherjee also assured that “differences and divergences” over Susta and Kalapani, the two most contentious border areas, would also be resolved.
Susta lies in Nawalparasi district in west Nepal while Kalapani is in farwest Nepal’s Dharchula district. Nepal says India has encroached on Susta and the locals have formed a protest committee that threatens to begin an agitation next month.
Indian troops took position in Kalapani in 1962 after the India-China war. Now both sides claim the land belongs to them.