Must Exchange Land to Resolve Border issues
Interviewed to Buddhi Narayan Shrestha, Former Director General of Survey Department and Madan Prize Winner, by Ranjit Tamang for Karobar Daily, published on 31 October 2014.
(English translation of this interview, in summary is given just below this image)
Regarding the demarcation of Federal States of Nepal, it should be delineated north-south touching both the frontiers of India and China for the overall economic development of Nepal. Concerning the number of proposed States, it should be approximately five. Most importantly, it may not be divided east-west as splitting of a cucumber piece, but it should be north-south as the whole-piece of an orange, so that a province may not depend so much upon the other adjoining provinces. The other thing is that ‘Capability’ must come first and then ‘Identity’ and both must march ahead hand to hand.
There are encroachments, disputes, conflicts, claims, counter-claims and cross-holding occupations in 71 places and spots along 1880 km long border between Nepal and India. The largest encroachment is the Kalapani-Limpiyadhura area, that consists of 37,000 hectare of land. Kalapani is a security sensitive area. It is a route to pilgrimage to Manasarobar (China), and shortest route from New Delhi (India) to Lhasa (China). So Indian para-military force may not intend to leave Kalapani. In this situation, there should have some provision in the forthcoming new Constitution of Nepal that could make exchange of land with the basis of equal in area and usage of land. If India provides Nepal, the strip land from Jhapa-Ilam to touching the border of Bangladesh, as an exchange of Kalapani-Limpiyadhura, Nepal would be facilitated to reach to the Bangladeshi sea port. It may enhance the economy of Nepal. In Summary, there should have some provision in the constitution which may enable for the exchange of land to resolve the border issues between Nepal and India.
Regarding Nepal-China border issues, the demarcation work was taken place during 1961-62. There were disputes, claims and conflicts in 32 places including the Mount Everest. All the issues had been settled within a period of two years in the joint committee level, except the issue of Mount Everest. The issue of Everest was settled in the Prime Ministerial level. The visiting Chinese Prime Minister Chou-en-Lai declared in the Gallery Baithak of Singha Darbar on 31 May 1960 that Mount Everest belongs to Nepal. The issue was resolved, as it was taken in the prime ministerial level. This type of example could be useful and fruitful, to resolve the issue of Kalapani-Limpiyadhura between Nepal and India, if it is taken seriously. ♣