India, B’Desh agree to address all outstanding land boundary issueJanuary 12th, 2010 - 11:15 pm ICT by ANI
New Delhi, Jan.12 (ANI): India and Bangladesh have agreed to comprehensively address all outstanding land boundary issues keeping in view the spirit of the 1974 Land Boundary Agreement and also to convene the Joint Boundary Working Group to take this process forward in this context.
On Monday, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the visiting Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina agreed on the need to amicably demarcate the maritime boundary between India and Bangladesh. They noted the initiation of proceedings under Annex VII of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and, in this context, welcomed the visit of a delegation from Bangladesh to India.
It was agreed that Ashuganj in Bangladesh and Silghat in India shall be declared ports of call. The IWTT Protocol shall be amended through exchange of letters. A joint team will assess the improvement of infrastructure and the cost for one-time or longer term transportation of ODCs (Over Dimensional Cargo) from Ashuganj. India will make the necessary investment. Both Governments agreed to expedite implementation. Contractors from both countries shall be eligible for the work.
It has been agreed that Bangladesh will allow use of Mongla and Chittagong sea ports for movement of goods to and from India through road and rail. Bangladesh has also conveyed its intention to give Nepal and Bhutan access to Mongla and Chittagong ports.
It has been agreed that the construction of the proposed Akhaura - Agartala railway link be financed by grant from India. In this regard, a joint team of the railway authorities of the two countries will identify the alignment for connectivity.
Meanwhile, hailing the commencement of “Maitree Express” between Kolkata and Dhaka, both the Prime Ministers called for resumption of road and rail links between the two countries. They agreed that Rohanpur-Singabad broad gauge railway link would be available for transit to Nepal. Bangladesh informed of their intention to convert Radhikapur - Birol railway line into broad gauge and requested for railway transit link to Bhutan as well.
Moreover, recognizing the sufferings of the people of both sides in the face of scarcity of lean season flows of the Teesta River, Dr. Singh and Sheikh Hasina opined that the discussions on the sharing of the Teesta waters between India and Bangladesh should be concluded expeditiously. The two Prime Ministers directed their respective Water Resources Ministers to convene the Ministerial-level meeting of the Joint Rivers Commission in this quarter of 2010. The Joint Rivers Commission will also discuss issues relating to Feni, Manu, Muhuri, Khowai, Gumti, Dharla and Dudhkumar.
It was also agreed that the aforesaid actions be taken which include Dredging of Ichhamati and River protection at Mahananda, Karatoa, Nagar, Kulik, Atrai, Dharla, and Feni.
Prime Minister Dr. Singh agreed to support implementation of strategy of Government of Bangladesh to dredge rivers for flood control, navigation and access to ports. In this context, India agreed to provide, inter alia, dredgers to Bangladesh on an urgent basis. Bangladesh indicated the need for 9 (nine) dredgers.
Dr. Singh reiterated the assurance that India would not take steps on the Tipaimukh project that would adversely impact Bangladesh.
He agreed to supply to Bangladesh 250 MW electricity from its grid. In this context, both Prime Ministers emphasized the need to expedite inter-grid connectivity. They also agreed that the two countries shall cooperate in development and exchange of electricity, including generation from renewable sources, and may set up joint projects or corporate entities for that purpose, said the Joint Statement issued by the two governments on Tuesday. (ANI).
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