Nepal and China are engaged in a boundary row in Humla after the Chinese side allegedly built 11 buildings in a remote part of the district that Nepal claims as its own territory.
With a border pillar missing since Nepal built a road in the area several years ago, China has now constructed some buildings.
There was just a hut in the area in 2005, according to Dattaraj Hamal, assistant chief district officer of Humla who visited the disputed area recently.
Hamal had visited the area after people from Namkha Rural Municipality reported to the district administration office about the construction of nine new buildings by the Chinese security and border forces in the area. During the inspection by the Giri-led team, Chinese security officials also claimed that Chinese territory extends one kilometre further south from where the buildings are located. But Nepali land extends two kilometres north from where the buildings are. Of the 11 houses in the disputed area, security forces live in one and the others are empty.
Although the Home Ministry dispatched a team of government officials, head of security agencies and local government representatives of Humla district to Lapcha in Ward No. 6 of Namkha Rural Municipality to inspect and report back to the ministry. The report is expected at the end of the week. The number refers to the count of the pillar on the Nepal-China border starting from the west.
During a meeting between the two sides in 2015, Nepal and China had agreed to ascertain the location of the missing pillar, but no steps were taken in that regard, according to Paljor Tamang, chair of Ward No 6 of the rural municipality where the disputed area lies. While it is not possible to erect pillars everywhere along the border between Nepal and China given the difficult geographic terrain, there are no such problems where pillars numbering 11, 12 and 13 lie, according to an official of the Ministry of Land Management. The pillar can be traced. Who wished to remain anonymous citing sensitivity of the matter?
If a straight line of demarcation from pillar no 12 towards 11 is drawn, the disputed land clearly falls inside Nepali territory. The negligence on the part of the Nepali government for the problem as Nepal’s security presence in the border area is much less than that of the Chinese side. This is the result of failing to inspect the border on a regular basis. A detailed boundary inspection has not happened along the northern border since 2005. A similar kind of dispute surfaced some five years back, regarding pillar no 12 but it was later sorted out. Such an inspection usually happens every 10 years.