National

India digs trench near no-man’s-land in Kailali district

- MOHAN BUDHAIR, DHANGADHI

Feb 17, 2019-

The Indian border security force, Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), has dug a trench near the no-man’s-land between Nepal and India, at Shivaratnapur area in Kailari Rural Municipality-3, Kailali.

The SSB claimed that the trench was being dug as a conservation effort to protect the animals of Dudhwa National Park. Deputy Superintendent of Police Bishnu Prasad Bhatta of the Armed Police Force confirmed that the Indian side dug 2-km-long trench near the no-man’s land at Shivaratnapur. “The Indian authorities dug the trench to stop the movement of wild animals from Dudhwa National Park,” Bhatta said.

Locals said that the Indian side constructed an embankment like structure. Birbhan Chaudhary, a provincial lawmaker in Kailali, said the construction of trench pose a flood risk on the Nepali side. “The trench is one metre deep and soil from the trench had formed embankment like structure of around 2.5 metres,” noted Chaudhary, warning that the structure could inundate local’s homes during monsoon.

Meanwhile, conservationists have expressed concern that the newly made trench will obstruct wildlife movement. According to them, the area connects Basanta and Mohana International bio corridors. Raj Bahadur Air, a representative of the Mohana-Laljhadi Bio Corridor Conservation Committee, said Shivaratnapur area is the main point that connects Basanta Bio Corridor with Dudhwa National Park. “We can see wild elephants and tigers movement here,” he said, adding that the animals will have trouble moving about due to the trench.

Chief District Officer Baburam Shrestha said that he had sent an APF official to inspect the area after the lawmakers questioned about the trench construction at the Province Assembly meeting. “The trench is being dug on the Indian soil,” he said.

The SSB men have also dug a trench near the no-man’s-land between at Dokebazar village in Punarbas Municipality-11, Kanchanpur to protect the animals of Dudhwa National Park. Two years ago, the Indian authorities had tried to construct an embankment in the same area. The construction was later halted at the request of District Administration Office.

In March 2018, Indian SSB personnel had obstructed Nepali authorities while constructing an electric fence at Khadda Kankad in Punarbas-10. They had uprooted poles while municipal office was trying to put up electric fence to stop movement of wild animals.

Published: 17-02-2019 08:06

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