KASARAGOD: A lack of clarity on the border between Karnataka and Kerala at Talapady led to the reconfirmation of an interesting fact: that the lives of people on either side of the line are intertwined and their properties interlocked.
On Thursday, revenue officials of both the states dusted out the survey records of 1925 and brought them to the Kunjathur-Talapady border. "We had to do it because Karnataka police raised doubts on where the border was," said Kasaragod collector D Sajith Babu.
As part of the lockdown, Kerala police and health officials had pitched their tent 300m inside the state border and Karnataka police had their camp on their border.
In the past four days, Karnataka police were allowing people to cross over to Kerala, said the collector. But after walking in 300m, they would often be sent back by Kerala police. "But when they return, the Karnataka police would not accept them. This caused a lot of trouble to the people," said Sajith Babu.
He said that the tent of Kerala police was behind a curve and so the officials were not able to see when people were allowed to enter the state.
Manjeshwar tahsildar Anto PK said that to avoid putting people at hardship, the Kerala police decided to pitch their test 15 metres from the border. "But when they did so on Wednesday, the Karnataka police said the place was inside their state," he said.
To bring in clarity, the revenue and survey officials of the two states were called and both sides agreed to meet on Thursday with the survey records.
Officials on both sides turned up with the same record book, dating back to 1925. Kasaragod was part of the South Canara district of Madras Presidency. In the survey conducted in 1925, Kunjathur village and Talapady village were clearly demarcated.
On November 1, 1956, when Kasaragod was made part of Kannur district, Kunjathur village became Kerala and Talapady village stayed with Karnataka, said Anto. "So there is no dispute, just a lack of clarity on the part of Karnataka police," he said.
The survey officials drew a line, they found that the Kerala police were well within their borders. "Now camps of both the police forces are just 20 metres away. This will avoid putting common people in a difficult spot," said Anto.
But when the survey officials demarcated the dividing line with white paint, they found that the border was cutting right through the middle of a fuel station at Talapady. "The fuel dispensers are in Karnataka but a part of the dispenser and its office building is in Kerala," said Anto.
The fuel station has got its licence from Karnataka, and the landline telephone connection in the office was from Mangaluru exchange.
Similarly, a road right in front of a church was earlier thought to be part of Karnataka. "The survey confirmed that the church and road are in Kerala," he said. Anto said that there was no natural border between the two villages and there would be several similar instances along the border. "It has always been like that. It is never a cause of concern," he said.