4,156km border strip-mapped
Bangladesh and India have for the first time prepared strip maps of their 4,156-kilometre international border that will be useful in settling border-related disputes, home ministry officials in Dhaka said yesterday.
The 11,000-page strip maps were prepared after a joint survey, said the officials wishing anonymity. They said the two countries will sign official documents on the maps during Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Bangladesh next month.
An inter-ministerial meeting was held yesterday at the home ministry to discuss the signing of the document and other border-related issues. Secretaries of the ministries of home, foreign and land attended the meeting.
A strip map is an unscaled drawing of a route to include critical points along the border. It usually incorporates distances, roadside features and town facilities on a simple flip-over style map.
"This will be important document for the country. These maps will be helpful for resolving any dispute related to the border with India," a high official at the home ministry told The Daily Star.
Meanwhile, the prime minister's international affairs adviser Prof Gowher Rizvi and economic affairs adviser Dr Mashiur Rahman are expected to leave Dhaka tomorrow to hold meetings with high government leaders and officials ahead of Manmohan's September 6-7 visit to Bangladesh.
Official sources said the issue of land boundary agreement will dominate the two advisers' talks with the Indian government leaders and officials.
The boundary agreement is expected to resolve the decades-old disputes involving 3,000 acres of Bangladesh land inside India, 51 enclaves and 6.5km un-demarcated border. Similarly India has around 3,500 acres of land and 111 enclaves adversely possessed inside Bangladesh.
The border deal will involve boundary strip maps, exchange of 162 enclaves and 6,500 acres of adversely possessed land and 6.5 km un-demarcated borders between the two countries and 24-hour access to Bangladesh's Dahagram and Angarpota enclaves through Tin Bigha corridor.
Indian enclaves inside Bangladesh are situated in four districts-- Panchagarh, Lalmonirhat, Kurigram and Nilphamari-- while all of Bangladesh enclaves fall in Indian Cooch Behar district. Some of these enclaves were created even before the British rule back in 1713.
There is 1.5km un-demarcated border at Doykhata under Nilphamari district, 2km at Muhurir Char in Feni and 3km at Lathitila in Moulvibazar.
Several other crucial deals likely to be signed during Manmohan's visit include interim water sharing agreement on Teesta and Feni rivers, framework agreement on transit, import of electricity, joint venture on coal-fired power plant, MoU on trade liberalisation under the Indo-Bangladesh Trade Agreement, MoU on cooperation of usage of renewable energy, and preservation of tigers in Sundarbans.