Tetulia corridor over Bangladesh finds new hope

“Since Chitmahal crisis has reached a definite resolution, we expect Tetulia too to come to a positive ending,” said Mr. Rahul Sinha, President West Bengal state BJP.

“Since Chitmahal crisis has reached a definite resolution, we expect Tetulia too to come to a positive ending,” said Mr. Rahul Sinha, President West Bengal state BJP.
SILIGURI: The ongoing dynamics in national policy makers level on Indo Bangladesh land boundary issue and the process of passing The Constitution (119th Amendment) Bill has given new life to the hope for ‘ Tetulia Corridor.’ An India to India short passage through Bangladesh. The demand for which remained unresolved since independence.

The bill is to allow the operationalisation of the 1974 India-Bangladesh Land Boundary agreement and thus settlement of century old border issue that made India and Bangladesh to host many land pieces of one country, detached from its mainland, to remain within the territory of another country like islands. These land pieces are known as Chitmahals.

“Since Chitmahal crisis has reached a definite resolution, we expect Tetulia too to come to a positive ending,” said Mr. Rahul Sinha, President West Bengal state BJP.

Proposed Tetulia corridor is a 4 km long strip of land in Bangladesh that can connect two places in India- namely Chopra and Maynaguri, both in northern West Bengal, shortening the travel for all North East region bound traffic from Indian mainland for near 84 km.

“Tetulia carries great importance to the trade and commerce of entire north Bengal and NE region,” said Mr. R. Jajodia, ex Chairman, CII North Bengal Zonal council. As estimated, near 40 per cent of supply to and from 7 states of India’s NE region with a populace of around 4 crore uses surface transport. Naturally, reduction of this travel length can save huge amount of time, fuel and cost- he explained.

Demand for Tetulia first came to limelight following India-Bangladesh Trade Agreement signed in 1980. Based upon that, India cleared Tinbigha corridor, the Bangladesh to Bangladesh passage through India, for round the clock since 6th September 2011. But Tetulia failed to have clearance from Bangladesh.
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Now, in the process of land exchange between India and Bangladesh, India will get 500 acre from Bangladesh. But Bangladesh will receive 10000 acre from India. “This gain of Bangladesh can be utilized by India as a bargaining point to have Tetulia cleared up by them,” said many activists.

Interestingly, during UPA II regime in Delhi, BJP did not support Indo-Bangla Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) of 2011 and its cold attitude kept fate of the corridor under uncertainty. But, “BJP’s new standpoint to enforce the agreement is definitely new hope for Tetulia,” said activists from Indian Enclave United Council, the organization dedicated to land related matters at Indo –Bangla border.

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