One-day discourse on the formation of a roadmap and solution of the Indo-Myanmar border issue organised by United Committee of Manipur (UCM) on Sunday resolved to set up a fact-finding committee on the Indo-Myanmar border issue to collect data and documents. The committee was to help in solving the border issue
One-day discourse on the formation of a roadmap and solution of the Indo-Myanmar border issue organised by United Committee of Manipur (UCM) on Sunday resolved to set up a fact-finding committee on the Indo-Myanmar border issue to collect data and documents. The committee was to help in solving the border issue.
In the discourse held at JN Dance Academy auditorium hall, freelancer of advanced geodetic and geographic information system Manichandra Sanoujam gave a presentation on discrepancies in the geographical area of Manipur, on assessment. In his presentation, he pointed out that the historical base area was 25,000 sq km in 1814 and 1,31,000 sq km in 1859. However, it shrunk to 22, 356 sq km in 1971. Now, the area is estimated to be 22,327 sq km. It should be verified with statistical survey and update, Manichandra asserted.
He said that the formal boundary delimitation and demarcation were carried out on maps and an instrument of ratification was signed on May 30, 1967, at New Delhi between India and Myanmar. The official geographical area of 22,356 sq km should be from that of the first edition survey of India (SOI) map, 1971. But he wondered how the present official geographical area changed into 22,327 sq km.
Manichandra explained that the boundary of Manipur from the confluence of Dzuko river with Barak (Tousem subdivision) to the confluence of Barak river with Magui Ki near Jampi village of Tousem is the midline of the Barak river. However, in the SOI (first edition 1975) it is drawn on the eastern side of the river, which shows that the Barak River of the stretch does not belong to Manipur. The average width of the Barak River in the stretch is about 100m. So, an area of 2.5 sq km (approx) will be reduced after 1975, he added.
Fortunately, the first edition of the SOI map, 2010 shows the corrected boundary of Manipur marked along the centre of Barak River, said Manichandra. He further explained that border pillars 6, 7, and 8 are not marked in the SOI Topo Sheet. In the 1976 SOI map, 7.91 centimeters were occupied in the Manipur side while estimating the geographical area of the state.
He said that the area will be 22,378, 87 plus 7.91 means 22,286.78/22,388 sq km. So, the present official geographical area of Manipur should be considered as 22,388 sq km instead of 22, 327 sq km, he added.
Retired MCS officer, writer, and publisher, Hareshwor Goshwami explained historically related boundary, fencing and frontier map of Manipur and connected story which was held between British, Myanmar and Manipur. Shifting of the border pillar at Manipur side has been found and at the side of Tuivai, Tumu (Moreh), Choro, Holenphai, Kwatha Khunou (Waksu) areas are missing.
He suggested holding ongoing border pillar fencing immediately and formation of a fact-finding committee to be able to survey data and documents.
Retired IAS A Tombikanta (former DC, Tengnoupal) shared his experience when he was DC at Tengnoupal and how he rooted on grass root level to find out the truth of the border pillar. He said that when he was DC at Tengnoupal during 2017-18, the Survey of India (SOI) sent a letter of signing the agreement of the border pillar between Myanmar and SOI.
Tombikanta recounted that the SOI had asked him to conduct a study on the matter. Taking a chance, he visited the border pillars of the international Myanmar side. He even took the team of SOI to visit the pillar side and saw border pillar number 83 was shifted to the Manipur side. He strongly objected to the agreement between SOI and Myanmar and denied signing the agreement. He suggested conducting a survey and submitting a report to the UN, he added.
As a resource person, Centre for Myanmar Studies, MU, N Bobby; senior advocate of High Court of Manipur Irom Lalit; National Forum for Peoples Rights, coordinator, Kh Gojendro also spoke on the issue.
The discourse was presided by UCM president Joychandra Konthoujam and moderated by retired MU professor of the Department of History N Joykumar. UCM secretary of organisation Nahakpam Santa and UCM secretary of community affairs Alan Puna Dangmei were rapporteurs of the discourse.