CII to begin Indo-Bangladesh joint initiative on Tetulia corridor issue 

CII to begin Indo-Bangladesh joint initiative on Tetulia corridor issue 

SAM Staff,
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Trade and commerce arena in northern West Bengal is keen to begin Indo-Bangla joint initiative to bring back near forgotten Tetulia corridor issue back to life. The demand to open up this proposed India to India passage via Tetulia in Bangladesh remained unsettled since independence. 

“Tetulia will be in our prime agenda to discuss with Chamber and Commerce of Rangpoor in Bangladesh to start joint initiative if possible. We will also talk to our North East Region(NER) friends and escalate it to higher levels at CII and Government in state and centre,” said Rajiv

On the other side, according to senior defense officials at 33 Corps of Indian Army based near Siliguri, the only link between North-East states hosting Sino Indian border and rest part of the country via Siliguri suffers from serious vulnerability due to challenging geographical boundary. Indian land, sandwiched between Nepal and Bangladesh, at this part of the country is only 16-60 km wide. Hence, an alternative is too important.

As estimated, near 50% supply to and from 7 states of India’s NER uses surface transport via Siliguri. Tetulia corridor is a proposed 4 km long strip of land in Bangladesh to connect Chopra and Maynaguri, both in northern West Bengal. It can by-pass Siliguri and trim the travel distance for all North-East bound traffic for 84 km “This can save huge amount of time and cost,” said Lochan. 

On the other side, according to senior defense officials at 33 Corps of Indian Army based near Siliguri, the only link between North-East states hosting Sino Indian border and rest part of the country via Siliguri suffers from serious vulnerability due to challenging geographical boundary. Indian land, sandwiched between Nepal and Bangladesh, at this part of the country is only 16-60 km wide. Hence, an alternative is too important.

After remaining as demand since independence, Tetulia issue first came under spotlight following India-Bangladesh Trade Agreement signed in 1980. Article VIII of the agreement states, “The two governments agree to make mutually beneficial arrangements for the use of their waterways, railways and roadways for commerce between the two countries and for passage of goods between two places in one country through the territory of the other.” 

Following that, India allowed Tinbigha corridor, the Bangladesh to Bangladesh passage through India. Nepal-Bangladesh trade passage via India has also been opened. But Tetulia remained pending. 

The present BJP ruled Government of India has successfully resolved major Indo-Bangla border related old issue like enclave exchange. But, Tetulia remained out of attention though “On principle, we are in favour of the corridor,” said BJP National Secretary Rahul Sinha earlier. 

“CII will do its best to bring Tetulia back to attention,” said Lochan. 

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SOURCEThe Economic Times
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