Government of Nepal has released the revised political and administrative map of Nepal including Limpiyadhura, Lipu Lekh and Kalapani (currently occupied by India forcefully).
Six months after India unveiled its new political map placing Kalapani within its borders, Nepal on 20th May 2020 unveiled its new political map by including the region within its territory.
The department had also provided factual evidence including a map drawn during the Treaty of Sugauli, another map brought from London, receipts of payment of land revenue and the order issued by the then Prime Minister Chandra Shumsher, to the ministry. One of the high-ranking officers at the department said, “Collecting proof is an important task, which we have successfully accomplished.”
The Nepalese government was under immense pressure after India announced that a road link was opened via Lipulekh to Kailash Mansarovar in the Tibetan Autonomous Region.
The new map has retrieved 335 sq km of encroached land. Gunji, Nabhi and Kuti villages have been included within the Nepali border. The present map in practice, issued in 2032BS, does not have 335 sq km of the Limpiyadhura region.
Earlier, the Department of Survey had prepared the map including those territories and submitted it to the Ministry of Land Management. Technicians at the Survey Department had prepared the map with accurate scale, projection and coordinate system.”This map has included all the Nepali territory as mentioned in the Sugali Treaty of 1816,” said a technician at the department.
The controversy of Greater Nepal
The border treaty signed between the then government of East India Company and
Nepal on March 4, 1816 is known as the Sugauli Treaty. The result of the treaty was that Nepal lost almost one-third of its territory on the east, south and west.
Before the treaty, the border of Nepal was extended from Tista River on the East, to Kangara across Sutlej River in the west, to the confluence of Ganga and Jumuna River in the south, touching the present-day Bangladesh in the east. The area of Nepal was reduced from 2, 04,917 to 1, 47,141 square kilometers. After treaty, Nepal was limited to Mechi in the East and Mahakali in the West.
Basis of claiming land from India
The 1950 India-Nepal Treaty (official name Treaty of Peace and Friendship Between the Government of India and Government of Nepal) was signed at Kathmandu on 31 July 1950 by the last Rana Prime Minister of Nepal Mohan Shumsher JBR and Indian ambassador to Nepal, Chadreshwar Narayan Singh.
In the treaty (Article 8), it is clearly mentioned as,
This Treaty cancels all previous Treaties, agreements, and engagements entered into on behalf of India between the British Government and the Government of Nepal.
Interestingly the government of Nepal has not done anything to invoke this article and claim the land that fell under India during the Sugauli Treaty. Still, Nepal wants to talk about the Sugauli Treaty but not the later Treaty.
Why should we be happy to claim a mere 335 sq. km where we can get back 57,776 sq. km. Why is the Government of Nepal not working on it?
Maybe because the Government of Nepal thinks India will be unhappy with this and cause another economic blockade?
Although not now – I think time will come when we’ll be able to ask for the land that we lost… but only when Nepal will be very stable and economically strong. This will take time for sure. But to start with this small territory is a good thing (Limpiyadhura, Lipu Lekh and Kalapani).