M A I N   N E W S

India, B’desh settle boundary dispute
Neighbours sign nine more pacts, but no agreement on sharing of Teesta waters
Ashok Tuteja/TNS

Dhaka, September 6
India and Bangladesh today signed a slew of agreements and resolved their long-standing boundary dispute, but failed to ink any water-sharing deal.

Upset at India backing out of the Teesta water-sharing treaty at the eleventh hour, following West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s refusal to endorse the accord, Bangladesh retaliated by holding back the big-ticket transit treaty that would have given the North-Eastern states in India easier and faster access to the rest of the country.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who arrived here on a two-day visit earlier on Tuesday, sought to calm down tempers in Bangladesh over the Teesta controversy by telling Sheikh Hasina that the two sides would continue discussions on water-sharing accords to reach a mutually acceptable, fair and amicable arrangement for the sharing of Teesta and Feni river waters.

“Our common rivers need not be sources of discord, but can become harbingers of prosperity to both our countries,” he said. The PM also announced that India would provide duty-free access to 46 textile “tariff lines” as requested by Bangladesh.

He said the two countries would also improve border infrastructure that would facilitate Bangladesh’s exports to India and provide it greater opening to India and other neighbouring countries. India would supply bulk power to Bangladesh by connecting its national grids.

The outstanding issues addressed in the boundary accord include: un-demarcated land boundary in three sectors viz Daikhata-56 (West Bengal), Muhuri River-Belonia (Tripura) and Dumabari (Assam); (ii) enclaves; and (iii) adverse possessions. The un-demarcated boundary in all three segments has now been demarcated. The status of 111 Indian enclaves in Bangladesh with a population of 37,334 and 51 Bangladesh enclaves in India with a population of 14,215 has been addressed. The issue of Adversely Possessed Lands along the India-Bangladesh border in West Bengal, Tripura, Meghalaya and Assam has also been mutually finalised.

“We have signed a protocol to the land boundary agreement of 1974. With this, both our countries have now demarcated the entire land boundary as well as resolved the status of enclaves and adversely possessed land,” Singh told the media after the agreement-signing ceremony.

India’s decision not to sign the Teesta accord is understood to have figured prominently during the 90-minute talks between the two sides, including the one-on-one meeting between the two PMs.


Common Accords

  • Agreement on development programmes
  • MoU on renewable energy
  • Pact on overland transit traffic between Nepal and Bangladesh
  • MoU on conservation of Sundarban
  • Protocol on conservation of Royal Bengal Tiger
  • Cooperation between Dhaka University and JNU, Delhi
  • Understanding on promoting fisheries
  • Cooperation between Doordarshan and Bangladesh TV
  • MoU between NIFT, New Delhi, and the BGMEA Institute of Fashion Technology, Bangladesh





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