India has decided to erect barbed wire fences across an 82km long stretch of infiltration prone area in West Bengal near the Bangladesh border.
The related areas are mostly in the districts of Nadia, South 24 Paraganas and Murshidabad which are close to the border with Bangladesh, reports Deccan Herald, an Indian daily.
"The state government has accepted the Centre's proposal and has provided Rs88 crore to the district council for purchasing 300 acres of land for the purpose," said Dibyendu Bhattacharya, additional district magistrate of South 24 Paraganas.
Cattle and drug smuggling are almost common phenomenon in North 24 Paraganas district. Such activities even have resulted in significant bloodshed in the region. The fact that at least 160 km of the border which the district shares with Bangladesh is riverine has made it even more difficult to keep vigil in the area.
Moreover, the adjoining areas such as Bongaon, Baduria and Bashirhat are also known for smuggling. According to the sources in the district administration, "To set up barbed wire fencing in these areas, the state government has to acquire land which includes not only individual property but also land occupied by squatters."
"The acquisition will be done without use of any force and the land will be purchased from the respective owners at market value. After acquisition the land will be handed over to BSF," the official said.
The development assumes significance as it comes at a time when the Centre and the Trinamool Congress government are at loggerheads with each other over the NRC and Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB).
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has repeatedly asserted that she will not allow NRC to be held on Bengal and will also oppose the CAB.