Jaleswar: Amid the raging border row in Kotia panchayat of Koraput district with Andhra Pradesh, officials of Odisha and West Bengal initiated efforts to resolve the border dispute along the Subarnarekha river in Jaleswar of Balasore district. Both the sides held a meeting Thursday.
This meeting has come following a directive from the NGT to settle the dispute along the Subarnarekha river.
Top officials of Balasore district and West Midnapore district discussed the modalities at Midnapore to sort out disputes arising out of several bordering villages near Jaleswar and Bhograi blocks .
The officials visited various disputed sites along the river course. It was learnt that another round of meeting will be held in Balasore March 2 and a decision will be taken in this regard.
The Subarnarekha river course and some villages in Bhograi and Jaleswar have been an apple of discord between the two states. In 1938, then Collector of Balasore S. Soleman had identified Subarnarekha river as the border between both the states.
Later, the river has been changing its course inside the Odisha. People of Dantun in Bengal have encroached upon parts of the river on the other side. Over years, Bengal mafia has been extracting sand from the river, triggering anger in the Odisha side.
There are several cases relating to the environmental issues pending with the NGT. Recently, the NGT had directed the Odisha and Bengal governments to identify the disputed sites through field investigations.
A few days ago, two scientists of ORSAC have identified a base point in the border area with the help of GPS and DGPS Survey of India. Similarly, the West Bengal government has pinpointed base points at Dantun.
According to reports, in order to maintain peace and tranquility in the adjoining areas and resolve the issue, higher authorities from both the states are deliberating to find ways and means.
Following a directive from Balasore Collector, Additional District Magistrate (ADM), Sambit Kumar Nayak, Sub-Collector Kishore Kumar Swain, scientists Pramod Kumar Parida, Manoj Kumar Samsada of Odisha Remote Sensing Application Centre, tehsildar Khirod Kumar Panda and other officials met their West Bengal counterparts.
It may be noted here that the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had intervened in the row and directed both the sides to resolve the issue with mutual deliberations between representatives of both the states.
An aerial survey of the area has been made with the use of geo-referencing technologies to demarcate the border lines.