“The boundary alignment has been identified on ground in about 95% of the border length,” a home ministry official said. There are still patches stretching to about 100 km where the survey has not been completed, most of them coinciding with areas where the boundary between the two countries is in dispute.
“The border pillars (that demarcate international boundaries) are where they are. But the difference in length came about due to use of modern technology,” he added.
The official emphasised it was technology – and not a change in the location of border pillars used to demarcate international boundaries – that stretched the Indo-Nepal borders.
In the good old days, surveyors used to walk along the border with a metal chains measuring short lengths and then adding them up.
They still have to go to the field. But this time they used global positioning systems and a device to measure angles and distances, called Total Stations.
“When you use modern technology, precision certainly improves. There is no change in the borders,” Major General Ramesh Chandra Padhi, Additional Surveyor General of India, told HT.
Government officials said they had been told to continue using the 1,751 km figure by the foreign ministry though the outcome of the joint survey was carried out some years back. The border length has to be reconciled with the Nepalese side and has to be approved by them too, a senior official said.