Delay by the Border Security Force (BSF) in submitting its application seeking land in “error free” pro-forma to the state government as per the latter’s land purchase policy has resulted to “zero progress” in the work to set up fences along the porous Indo-Bangladesh border.
The repeated allegations of BJP against the Bengal government, that the latter was causing the delay on purpose thus stand baseless.
The decision to expedite the work to set up fences and border outpost as and where required were taken in a meeting held between Sushil Kumar, secretary border management under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Chief Secretary Basudeb Banerjee and BSF representatives on June 22, 2016.
The decision was taken to put an end to cross-border terrorism as infiltration of activists of terror outfits were reported repeatedly and Jamat-Ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh had even set up their units in districts including Burdwan and Murshidabad.
According to some sources in the state Home department, as discussed in the meeting, South Bengal
Frontiers, North Bengal Frontiers and Cooch Behar sector headquarter had sent applications seeking land to set up fences along the porous border in the areas under their respective jurisdiction.
BSF sent the applications to the state Home department and the Home department forwarded the application to the land and land reforms department for land acquisition only after taking consent of land owners.
The Home department had managed to forward the application of the South Bengal Frontier, but there were several errors in the applications of both the North Bengal Frontier and Cooch Behar sector headquarter.
“The Home department had to send back all the documents that the BSF had provided for North Bengal and Cooch Behar asking them to submit the same following the pro-forma of the land purchase policy.
North Bengal Frontiers has resubmitted the application just a few weeks ago. The state’s home department is going through the documents and would forward it to the land and land reforms department if no error is found.
“Moreover, Cooch Behar sector headquarter is yet to resubmit the application as per the pro-forma. Thus there was no progress in land acquisition process for fencing in North Bengal including the bordering areas in Cooch Behar,” sources said
adding that mistakes of the security force in doing the paper work is causing unnecessary delay in initiating the work to ensure security of the country by setting up fences along the porous Indo-Bangladesh border.
Since there was no error in the application made by South Bengal Frontier, the state government has already given them 197 acres of land. They need total around 700 acres for fencing and setting up border outpost.
As per the pro-forma, there is a need to provide the map with the exact locations earmarked from which the fence will pass and the border outposts will be set up or else it would not be possible to calculate how much loss a particular land owner would incur if a portion of his or her land is taken.
“As per the land purchase policy, a plot will be acquired only after getting consent from its owner. Thus, it is always our preference to find whether the fence will pass from middle of a plot or from a side. If it passes through one particular side of a plot with the other remaining under the jurisdiction of India, then the land owner would not face any problem in cultivating in the land. While the farmer have to do away with more share of the plot if the fence passes from middle of the agricultural land,” said an official adding that there is a huge difference in putting up fences in the bordering areas of Rajasthan and Bengal.
In Rajasthan, fences run through desert and in Bengal, fertile land needs to be acquired for fencing. “Thus, BSF needs to provide the correct plan and related documents,” the official said.