Land pact with Bangladesh: Mamata does a U-turn, gives approval for deal

Coochbehar (WB): The hope for implementation of the long-pending Land Boundary Agreement with Bangladesh
brightened up today with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee declaring her approval for the deal, saying “the problem will be solved soon”.

“A solution is being worked out for border enclaves. (I) hope the problem will be solved soon. We hope there will be a diplomatic agreement,” Banerjee said at a programme at Dinhata in Coochbehar district, bordering Bangladesh, while inaugurating several state government projects.

Mamata Banerjee. AFP

Banerjee said her government would write a letter to the Centre requesting for an early solution to the problems of enclaves.

“Only implmentation of the LBA will not do, a proper rehabilitation package will have to be worked out and there should be also improvement of roads,” she said.

“We want an early solution of the problem of the (border) enclaves. The relation between India and Bangladesh have been cordial and will continue to remain so (in future too).

“We want people living in the enclaves to get their rights. I wish both Bangladesh and India stay well,” she said.

Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in Assam that steps would be taken to stop inflow of illegal migrants from Bangladesh with which India would operationalise the land swapping deal for a permanent solution to the infiltration problem.

There are 162 adversely-held enclaves in Bangldeshi and Indian territories.

India will exchange 111 enclaves measuring 17,160 acres to Bangladesh and receive 51 enclaves covering 7,110 acres. Almost 51,000 people reside in these enclaves.

The territories involved in the exchange are in Assam, West Bengal, Meghalaya and Tripura.

TMC had earlier proved to be a stumbling block when the UPA II government was closing in on the pact.