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India admits to building makeshift bridges, track in Nepal sans permit

- MANOJ BADU, DARCHULA

Mar 6, 2018-Officials from Nepal and India have held talks on the issue of Indian authorities constructing four makeshift bridges over the Mahakali river, a track and a foot trail in Nepali territory without the consent of the Nepali government.

The issue was brought up by the Nepali officials at the Nepal-India border meeting held in the Indian town of Pithoragarh on Monday.

India has built four makeshift wooden bridges over the Mahakali river, a 150-metre long track and a 2 km foot trails in Darchula district without securing permission of Nepal.

Although the Indian authorities had written a letter to the Nepal government through Darchula district chief Janardan Gautam asking for a permission, officials say the Indian side went ahead with the construction without Nepal’s say-so.

CDO Gautam said the Indian officials admitted to the mistake of constructing the bridges and track without consent at Monday’s meeting.  On Sunday, the representatives of five gram panchayats (village councils) had submitted a letter to the Darchula District Administration Office seeking permission

to build the road on the Nepali side, saying that it would facilitate the people of Nepal as well.

They said the bridges over the Mahakali river, which borders Nepal and India, and road in Darchula would serve the people of both India and Nepal.

The Monday’s border meeting between the two countries also discussed various cross-border issues like human trafficking, criminal activities, smuggling of goods, drugs and animal parts.

The two sides have agreed to intensify joint security patrol along the border to check criminal activities.

Published: 06-03-2018 08:31

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