Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhograi, July 3:
The ongoing border dispute between Odisha and West Bengal took a new turn when officials of the West Bengal state administration opposed start of construction work of a building for a marine police station at the Udayapur beach under Bhograi block in Baleswar district by the Odisha government on Wednesday.
As construction work for the marine police station building began at the Udayapur baech on Wednesday, officials from West Bengal, including Revenue Officer of Rampur in East Midnapore districtl, BDO and IIC Digha police station, rushed to the spot and force stalled the construction work.
Soon Bhograi IIC and tehsildar reached the spot and a heated argument ensued between the officials of the two states.
While officials from West Bengal insisted that the area had been marked under West Bengal in the 1932 revenue map, Bhograi tehsildar Harihar Jena claimed that the land to the west of the road to the beach belonged to Odisha. The officials failed to resolve the issue leading to the stalling of the construction work at the identified spot.
The dispute over the road to the beach and the land adjacent to the beach is very old. A meeting between administrative officials of the two states on June 3, 2013 had decided to maintain status quo after West Bengal government uprooted the Udayapur forest gate to make way for a police check post there in the month of May in 2013.
Dispute surfaced again on September 26 the same year when the West Bengal government attempted to build a wall along the coast which had to be temporarily abandoned due to vehement protest by locals and intervention of the administration.
Unfortunately, despite the lingering dispute, the Odisha government has failed to view the matter with the seriousness, locals claim.
It may be mentioned here that the Odisha government had taken a decision to establish a marine police station at the Udayapur beach a year back and had even identified the land for the purpose.
After the lapse of nearly one year on June 28 this yea,r local MLA Ananta Das, Bhograi tehsildar Harihar Jena, SDPO and IIC visited the identified spot and decided to go ahead with the construction of the police station building.