PITHORAGARH: Days after it was alleged that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had constructed at least nine buildings on the Nepal side of the Nepal-China border in Humla district in Karnali province, sources confirmed that Nepal has set up six border observation posts (BOPs) along its border with China.
The BOPs have been set up at Hilsa in Humla district, Koral in Mustang district, Tatopani in Sindhupalchok district, Karung in Rasuwa district, Kimathanka in Sankhuwasabha district and Olangchung Gola in Taplejung district. The sources added that at least 9 more BOPs are also proposed to be set up along the Nepal-China border. All of them will be manned by personnel of the Armed Police Force (APF), Nepal’s paramilitary force which has been mandated the task of manning the BOPs along the border with India as well.
In the last six months, Nepal has opened around 90 BOPs along the border with India and China. Sources familiar with the matter told TOI that the Nepalese government has taken a decision to set up at least 500 BOPs along the border with its two neighbours in the next two years.
Notably, Nepal has an almost 1400-km-long border with China that runs along 17 of its districts while its border with India is around 1800-km-long and adjoins 27 of the country’s districts.
Nepal began its spree of opening up BOPs along the border after a reigniting of its dispute on the Kalapani area with India in May this year when defence minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated an almost 80-km-long road that went up to near Lipulekh. Nepal raised an objection to this, alleging that Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limipiyadhura were part of its territory and subsequently, its parliament also passed a new political map that showed these areas as part of Nepalese territory.
Since then, Nepal has set up around 85 BOPs near its border with India of which 15 are near the border with Uttarakhand. The Nepalese government has also reopened its airport at Patan in Baitadi district which adjoins Uttarakhand and constructed a helipad at Chhangru which is situated near Kalapani.