Kathmandu, June 15.
The Armed Police Force has increased its presence with regular patrol in the Kalapani area. The area serving as the tri-junction of Nepal, India and China is of strategic importance and now witnesses on-site patrol on a regular basis so as to increase the State’s presence. Earlier, the APF’s Border Outpost (BOP) was established at Chhangru (Gaga) of Byas rural municipality-1 in Darchula and since then the security force from the same post are patrolling the area regularly upon reaching the Seto Pul (White Bridge) of Kalapani which lies some 14 kilometres away from Chhangru. Chhangru is some 80 kilometres far from Khalanga, the district headquarters of Darchula and Gunji Dhobhan is situated in the distance of 10 kilometres from Chhangru. Likpulek is 17 kilometres far from Gunji.
The government has already issued the country’s revised political and administrative map which shows Kalapani, Lipulek and Limpiyadhura within its boundary. These territories were under the encroachment of India. The Constitution Amendment Bill aiming to adjust the new map in the Coat-of-Arms featured in the Constitution’s Schedule-3 was unanimously passed by the House of Representatives on Saturday. The area is being occupied by the Indian security force for long and the government took steps to increase the State’s presence in the area as transportation is not accessible to Lipulek and Limpiuadhura. The Nepal-India historic Sugauli Treaty mentions area east towards the Kali river as Nepal’s territory.
Talking to RSS, APF Inspector General Shailendra Khanal said the operation of APF’s BOP at Chhangru brought happiness among the Chhangru folks. “They have felt secured and those people staying in the district headquarters temporarily have started going back to the village. We are working to make the border area secured and systematised. The extension of BOPs along the border area provides us ground to further grow our presence.” Nepal has already strongly objected to India’s move of constructing a link road to Kailash- Manasorvar in China which passes through the bank of Mahakali River via Gunji, Kalpalani and Lipulek. The construction was one-sided and the 80-kilometres road was inaugurated on May. It sent a diplomatic note expressing its serious concern over the move.
APF has begun process towards the construction of its building at Chhangru.
The government has allocated Rs 110 million for this project. Twenty-five APF personnel had been airlifted there on May 13 to set up the BOP. The government on December 9 last year had decided to add 114 BOPs in the border points. The presence of the Armed Police Force has been expanded to all 77 districts. Number of Border Outposts (BOPs) which were only 87 by mid-April 2018 has now expanded to 130. New BOPs have been established at Kimathanka of Sankhuwasabha, Chhangu of Darchula, Nechung of Mustang. BOPs set up at Hilsa of Namkha in Humla and Pancheswor in Baitadi would be inaugurated soon, Khanal informed.
The government policy and programmes endorsed by the government for the fiscal year 2020/21 has mentioned to construct physical infrastructure for BOPs in different 70 places and allocated budget of Rs 700 million for the same. The APF has set a target to expand operation of 201 BOPs by the end of the current fiscal year by restructuring its organization. It has put forth a perspective plan to expand number of BOPS to 500. If this plan goes by, the APF needs to deploy up to 19,000 security personnel for border security.
For this the APF has urged the government to recruit additional 10,000 security personnel. So far 20 BOP have been set up in various bordering areas while the government had issued permission for the construction of 114 BOPs, according to APF. Revenue collection along with safeguarding border points APF has been instrumental in assisting the government collecting revenues from various check points besides combating criminal and illegal activities. More than Rs 620 million was collected in revenue from altogether 130 BOPs across the country in the current fiscal year. Each BOP is located in every nine kilometres in the border areas. On-foot patrolling has been made easier with the BOP set up in the difference of nine kilo metres. Since Help Desks have been set up in 20 places along Nepal-India border, these have contributed in minimizing smuggling and cross-border criminal activities. These Help Desks will facilitate in swift and effective exchange of information to both sides if there were any incidents of land encroachment by any parties. Furthermore, through the Help Desk, illegal entry of citizens from third countries could be effectively prevented. Similarly, installation of CCTV in 54 places along Nepal-India border continues. Same arrangements have been made with the BOPs with China.
While the BOPs receive occasional on-site inspection by the APF Headquarters, the APF’s brigade and battalion also keep issuing directives from time to time. Efforts of COVID-19 prevention IGP Khanal shared that the APF have set up health desk in 36 places across the border points to inform the public about COVID-19. The APF Hospital has readied 6-bed isolation facility with one ICU for treatment of the COVID-19 patients. Khanal said that APF was committed towards combating crimes and corruption so as to enable environment for good-governance and peace and order to help realize the national aspiration of ‘Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali’.