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History made as Modi, Hasi redraw Radcliffe line

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  7 Jun 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Dhaka, June 6: In a historic move, India and Bangladesh on Saturday ratified an over 40-year-old land border swap agreement. Modi, who arrived in the morning on a two-day visit, said his Dhaka visit "is at a historic moment". "We have resolved a question that has lingered since Independence. Our two tions have a settled boundary. It will make our borders more secure and people's life there more stable."

He said the Indian parliament's approval of the Land Boundary Agreement "reflects the consensus in India on relations with Bangladesh".

The formal LBA ratificaiton ceremony was witnessed by Modi, Hasi and Banerjee.

The exchange of documents was done by Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar and his Bangladeshi counterpart M. Shahidul Haque.

The land swap agreement envisages transfer of 111 enclaves with a total area of 17,160.63 acres to Bangladesh, while Dhaka is to transfer 51 enclaves with an area of 7,110.02 acres to India. A 6.1-km undefined border stretch will be demarcated.

The Indian parliament last month unimously passed the constitution amendment bill to allow operatiolisation of the 1974 India-Bangladesh deal and its protocol inked in 2011. The LBA was inked on May 16, 1974 by then Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi and her Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Bangladesh's Jatiya Sangsad had ratified the LBA immediately after.

Hasi in her statement termed Modi's visit a "historic moment for Bangladesh" and that it would take bilateral ties on a higher trajectory.

She said ratification of the LBA would resolve the problems of the people living in the enclaves for decades.

"We are very grateful," she said.

She praised the leadership of Modi and said the LBA became possible under his leadership. She also expressed thanks on behalf of the people of Bangladesh.

Hasi said Modi's visit has instilled new dymism confidence in the bilateral relationship.

Modi expressed confidence that "with the support of state governments in India, we can reach a fair solution on Teesta and Feni rivers".

The Teesta river deal is the other outstanding issue that Bangladesh is keen to see India agree to.

Modi was received by Hasi in a special gesture after he landed at the Hazrat Shahjalal Intertiol Airport in a special Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft, Rajdoot.

Modi on Saturday said his two-day "historic" visit to Bangladesh will "strengthen ties" between the two countries.

In a tweet, Modi thanked Sheikh Hasi for the warm welcome.

In the evening, Modi attended a special dinner banquet hosted by Hasi and was treated to a vegetarian cuisine and a cultural programme.

Bangladesh also inked two MoUs with Adani Power Limited and Reliance Group to set up 4,600 MW power plants in the country.

The deals worth $5.5 billion were inked by Power Development Board of Bangladesh and the Indian companies at the Bidyut Bhaban in Dhaka.

Adani Power is to invest $2.5 billion to set up a coal-based power plant with capacity of 1,600 MW while Reliance Group is to set up an imported Liquefied tural Gas-based power plant with 3,000 MW capacity at a cost of $3 billion.

The sites for setting up the plants are yet to be decided.

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