In a major step forward to resolve the land boundary issue, India and Bangladesh on Saturday exchanged maps of demarcated stretches, as New Delhi said it was ready to release $50 million out of a $200 million credit line to Dhaka.
The strip maps were exchanged by external affairs minister Salman Khurshid and his Bangladesh counterpart Dipu Moni, as they discussed a wide spectrum of issues at the second meeting of the Indo-Bangla Joint Consultative Commission in Dhaka.
The two sides also readied themselves to launch the Akhaura-Agartala rail link, besides signing MoUs on several issues including amending the double taxation avoidance treaty, opening of additional border haats in Tripura and Meghalaya among other things.
"We are ready to release the first tranche of $50 million from the total of $200 million line of credit (to Bangladesh)," Khurshid said, detailing the series of MoUs and agreements signed by officials from the two countries.
The symbolic exchange of strip maps, carried out in accordance with the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) of 1974, pertain to adverse possessions and undemarcated stretches.
The crucial land boundary issue involves exchange of land in 111 Indian enclaves in Bangladesh and 51 Bangladeshi enclaves to India.
The issue has been hanging fire for several years as additional protocols for the 1974 Land Boundary Agreement had to be formalised.
The protocols were signed during the 2011 visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Dhaka.