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India-Myanmar Discuss Boundary Issues
Sep 20, 2016

Two-day meeting of heads of Survey Department of India, and Myanmar was held recently at Dehradun to discuss issues of boundary between both the countries. India was represented by Dr Swarna Subba Rao, Surveyor General of India while the Myanmar delegation was led by Director General of Survey Department of Myanmar U. Than Hlaing. The representatives from four states, Mizoram, Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal Pardesh situated on the strip of India-Myanmar border also attended the meeting.

  • The matters on joint inspection, repair, restoration, reconstruction and maintenance of boundary pillars were discussed besides the joint inspection of constructions along India-Myanmar boundary.
  • The review of the decisions taken in the previous meeting was also taken.

India-Myanmar signed agreement on boundary in 1967. Some of the pillars to demarcate the boundary at times go missing or are found damaged or moved. In such a situation, in the annual meeting held with Myanmar, both the heads of the Survey department of the two countries resolves the issues with regard to repair, restoration, reconstruction and maintenance of boundary pillars.

  • It is then the heads along with their teams make the joint inspection in the field. The security forces Assam Rifles which guard the boundary line keep vigilant of the boundary and, inform the state government as well as Survey office about any change with regard to the pillars.
  • India has cordial relations with Myanmar and border with Myanmar is peaceful so India has been following pillar system on boundary with them.
  • Since the pillars were erected as per the survey conducted long ago in documentation which also includes rivers, hills etc, so at times it becomes difficult to ascertain the former position where the pillar had gone missing and, in such a scenario both the countries have difference of opinion which becomes ticklish to address.
  • Sincere efforts were also made to trace the pillars and the culprit for having stolen or moved it.
  • The encroachment issues on both sides of the border also discussed in the meeting.
  • As local people tend to go inside the border of the other country and make some kind of construction. It is not always easy to remove such people as locals try to ascertain their rights. These issues were also resolved in the meeting.

There is no boundary dispute between India and Myanmar. There are, however, some unresolved Boundary Pillars along the India-Myanmar Border in Manipur sector. The two sides hold regular dialogue on issues related with boundary demarcation and border management, through institutionalised mechanisms, such as Foreign Office Consultations, National Level Meetings and Sectoral Level Meetings.

Meetings are also held at the level of the Heads of Survey Department and Director (Survey), where issues related to boundary demarcation, joint survey, inspection and maintenance of boundary pillars are, inter alia, discussed. Joint survey, inspection and maintenance of Boundary Pillars are regularly carried out by Survey Departments of both the sides.

India has also proposed constitution of a Joint Boundary Working Group with Myanmar to enable examination of all boundary related issues in a comprehensive manner.


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