India alone has a dozen border disputes!

Updated on May 16, 2007 01:56 PM IST
There are nearly a dozen inter-state disputes over borders within India alone, a government statement says while replying to a petition by Harikumar P of Kasargod under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
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IANS | By, New Delhi

There are nearly a dozen inter-state disputes over borders within India alone, a government statement has said while replying to a petition under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra's borders were specified in the State Reorganisation Act of 1956. But Karnataka and Maharashtra disagree, with the latter wanting Marathi-speaking border areas. Karnataka and Kerala have a dispute over Kasargod district in Kerala.

Efforts by the one-man Mahajan Commission of Justice Meher Chand Mahajan in 1967 were inconclusive, with Maharashtra not accepting its recommendations.

In a reply made under the RTI Act to Harikumar P of Kasargod, the ministry of home affairs has acknowledged that a number of other disputes existed.

The inter-state boundary between Bihar and Uttar Pradesh continued to fluctuate due to the frequent change in the course of rivers, "giving rise to problems in the field of revenue administration and law and order," the government said.

Despite an arbitrator looking into this issue in the 1960s and a law, disputes between private parties have continued.

Likewise, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh's fluctuating boundary was sought to be solved in the 1970s. But some private parties have been approaching the courts over cases pertaining to tenancy disputes.

Between Orissa and Andhra Pradesh, the boundary dispute relates to 63 villages falling presently in Orissa. But neither government has asked for Central intervention. Similarly, Orissa and Jharkhand have a boundary dispute relating to seven villages of Mayurbhang and Keonjhar districts. Orissa has claimed territories in the former princely states of Seraikela and Kharsuan, now in Jharkhand.

Orissa is locked with Chhattisgarh over three villages of Naupada district. Orissa and West Bengal are also stalemated over five villages of Balasore and Mayurbhanj districts of Orissa.

In the northwest, Punjab and Haryana are locked over the transfer of Chandigarh to Punjab, and part of Fazilka sub-district of Punjab to Haryana. Three commissions have been named so far to decide which specific Hindi-speaking areas of Punjab should go to Haryana in lieu of Chandigarh.

Himachal Pradesh is contesting Uttarakhand over six places of Dehradun district, adjoining its Shimla district. Arunachal Pradesh claims territory in Assam on the basis of history. In September 2006, the Supreme Court appointed a local commission headed by retired judge SN Variava to identify the boundary there.

Assam and Meghalaya don't have a major boundary dispute, the reply said. But Nagaland claims 5,000 sq miles of territory in Assam "on historical grounds".

Assam filed a case in the Supreme Court and Justice Variava was named to decide on the issue.

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