Kathmandu: The Nepal government on Wednesday released a revised political and administrative map showing Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani under its territory, a day after Nepal prime minister KP Sharma Oli said the areas belong to the country and vowed to “reclaim” them from India through political and diplomatic efforts.
During a televised press conference, Nepal’s Land Reforms Minister Padma Aryal unveiled the new map.
Addressing Parliament on Tuesday, Oli said the territories belong to Nepal but India has made it a disputed area by keeping its Army there.
Nepalis were blocked from going there after India stationed its Army, he said.
A Cabinet meeting chaired by Oli on Monday endorsed the new map incorporating Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura as territories of Nepal.
The new map has been updated in the schedule of Nepal’s Constitution and coat of arms and will be kept at government offices, Aryal said, adding that it will be tabled in its parliament for necessary constitutional amendment.
The move comes weeks after Nepal foreign minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali said that efforts were on to resolve the border issue with India through diplomatic initiatives.
Nepal’s ruling Nepal Communist Party lawmakers have also tabled a special resolution in the Parliament demanding return of Kalapani, Limpiyadhura and Lipulekh to Nepal.
Aryal said that the Nepal government will hold dialogue with India on the matter and the issue will be resolved through diplomatic efforts.
She also expressed belief that (India will) consider the matter in a positive manner.
The new map includes 335-km land area including Limpiyadhura in the Nepalese territory, officials said, adding that technicians at the Survey Department prepared the map with accurate scale, projection and coordinate system.
The Lipulekh pass is a far western point near Kalapani, a disputed border area between Nepal and India. Both India and Nepal claim Kalapani as an integral part of their territory — India as part of Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district and Nepal as part of Dharchula district.
Gyawali last week summoned the Indian Ambassador Vinay Mohan Kwatra and handed over a diplomatic note to him to protest against the construction of a key road connecting the Lipulekh pass with Dharchula in Uttarakhand.
India has said that the recently-inaugurated road section in Pithoragarh district in Uttarakhand lies completely within its territory.
“The recently inaugurated road section in Pithoragarh district in the state of Uttarakhand lies completely within the territory of India. The road follows the pre-existing route used by the pilgrims of the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra,” MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava had said on 9 May.
Indian Army chief General MM Naravane last week said that there were reasons to believe that Nepal objected to India’s newly-inaugurated road linking Lipulekh Pass with Dharchula in Uttarakhand at the behest of “someone else”, in an apparent reference to a possible role by China on the matter.
He said there was no dispute whatsoever between India and Nepal in the area and road laid was very much within the Indian side.
The 80-KM-long strategically crucial road at a height of 17,000 KM along the border with China in Uttarakhand was thrown open by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh earlier this month.
Nepal has raised objection to the inauguration of the road, saying the “unilateral act” was against the understanding reached between the two countries on resolving the border issues.
The new map was drawn on the basis of the Sugauli Treaty of 1816 signed between Nepal and then the British India government and other relevant documents, officials said.
India and Nepal are at a row after the Indian side issued a new political map incorporating Kalapani and Lipulekh on its side of the border in October last year.
The tension further escalated after India inaugurated the road link connecting Kailash Mansarovar, a holy pilgrimage site situated at Tibet, China, that passes through the territory belonging to Nepal.