Mrunal Manmay Dash

In yet another instance of inter-state border dispute taking an ugly turn, the local administration in Balasore on Wednesday stopped an unauthorised construction of boundary wall by the West Bengal government at Udayapur beach under Bhogorai block in the district.

As per reports, Cyclone Yaas which ravaged Odisha and parts of West Bengal on May 25 this year had made a watch tower and boundary wall on the famous Udayapur Beach collapse. However, tension erupted after the WB government started construction of that boundary wall which intruded almost 50 feet inside Odisha’s territory.

an uproar by the locals at Bhogorai, the Additional Tehsildar and the local Revenue Inspector (RI) visited the place and stopped the construction by the WB government.

“It was mutually agreed in 2011 that no government will construct anything in the disputed area. But this time around, the West Bengal government violated the agreement and intruded almost 50 feet into Odisha’s border,” said Abani Patta, a Bhogorai local.

Similarly, another villager, Prashant Behera said, “The West Bengal government has unlawfully started constructing a boundary wall in the disputed area. It should refrain from doing so.”

Commenting on the development, Bhabesh Nayak, the Additional District Magistrate (ADM) of Balasore said, “For now the construction has been stopped. We will take up the matter with our counterparts in East-Midnapore district. The dispute has to be resolved through dialogue and I am sure it will be done soon enough.”

“We will not allow any unauthorised construction in the disputed area,” Nayak added.

It is pertinent to mention here that West Bengal has been eyeing the scenic Udaypur beach since long.

Earlier in February this year, a meeting of top officials of Odisha and West Bengal governments was held at West Medinipur to discuss modalities for resolving disputes arising out of several bordering villages near Jaleswar and Bhograi in Balasore district.

Notably the Subarnarekha river is the natural border between the states. However, there is no physical demarcation and the virtual lining often creates confusion. West Bengal extracts sand from the riverbed. However, it is being said that the sand mining zones fall within Odisha’s jurisdictional boundaries which is the root cause of tension between locals from both the sides.