IMPHAL, March 16: Despite the Chief Minister declaring every now and then that the State government will not sacrifice even an inch of Manipur’s territory, many of the border pillars along the Indo-Myanmar border in the State are erected well inside Manipur territory, Information Centre for Hill Area, Manipur president N Rajendro alias Boi claimed today.
A team of ICHAM office bearers accompanied by media persons had visited Z Choro Village, Kamjong sub-division in Ukhrul district on March 15. Z Choro Village neighbouring Myanmar is about 110 Km far from Imphal and is located near the Maklang River.
Speaking to media persons at the village after inspecting pillar no 6 and 7, Boi charged both the Centre and the State government of neglecting the international border issue.
He said the two border pillars are erected well within the territory of the State and as such Manipur is losing a large tract of land to Myanmar, despite the repeated assurance from the CM.
He said since 2003, ICHAM has been visiting numerous border areas in the State and checking the installation of international border pillars along the border with Myanmar.
Boi claimed that the government’s agenda is to barter off Z Choro Village with a controversial piece of land in Moreh area with Myanmar.
Declaring that ICHAM will never allow this to happen, he said it will be much better to develop Choro into a commercial hub.
Z Choro Village is a feasible village for foreign trade even more than the border town of Moreh, he said.
He said foreign commercial commodities can be shipped into Choro at a much cheaper rate and the area could be transformed into a commercial hub.
While inspecting the present border pillars 6 and 7, Choro village chief Kaphungyai Asare said the pillars are erected about three-four kms into Manipur territory.
He said the original pillars look very old and are made of teak, whereas the present ones which are concrete and triangular in shape have no marks indicating dates of erection.
ICHAM general secretary Ngachonmi Ramshang said the border pillars were first erected in 1948 and was re-inspected in 1957. He said subsidiary pillars were installed in 1968.
Ramshang said the border pillars erected in 1948 are far from those seen today. He added the triangular shape pillars must have been those installed in 1957.
He said during any inspection or survey for installation of border pillars, the authorities concerned should also consult the border villages.
He continued, if the government don’t check the issue soon, Manipur will lose a large tract of land to Myanmar.
He further appealed to the authorities concerned against erecting border pillars without proper survey.