India-Bangladesh Current Affairs
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West Bengal Assembly unanimously passed West Bengal Land Reforms (Amendment) Bill, 2018 to give land rights to enclave dwellers in north Bengal. The bill will end era of uncertain future for the people residing in those enclaves as it will help them to get full-fledged status as citizens of India, along with all civic amenities and rights. It will also help in distribution of land rights documents people of enclaves in border district of Cooch Behar. The process will result in creation of 13 ‘mouzas’ (administrative district), while rest of area will be amalgamated with existing 31 ‘mouzas’. Plot-to-plot verification has been undertaken to ascertain the ownership status of the land to the dwellers.
Bangladesh and India had exchanged total of 162 enclaves in August 2015 as per historic 1974 Land Boundary Agreement (LBA), ending one of the world’s most-complex border disputes that had lingered for seven decades since Independence. In Cooch Behar, 111 Indian enclaves, spread across 17,160 acres, became part of Bangladesh territory and 51 Bangladesh enclaves, comprising 7,110 acres, joined India. The enclave residents were allowed to either reside at their present location or move to the other country. Around 37,334 people residing in enclaves in Indian side refused to go to Bangladesh, whereas 922 enclave dwellers from Bangladesh side preferred to be in India.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina jointly launched the construction of India-Bangladesh Friendship Product Pipeline Project through video conferencing. It is first such pipeline through which refined diesel will be supplied to Bangladesh from India.
India-Bangladesh Friendship Product Pipeline Project
The project involves construction of 130-kilometre long pipeline that will connect Siliguri in West Bengal and Parbatipur in Dinajpur district of Bangladesh. Of the total stretch, six-kilometre will be in Indian side and remaining 124 kilometres will in Bangladesh. Indian leg of the pipeline project will be implemented by Assam-based Numaligarh Refinery Limited and Bangladeshi leg will be implemented by Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation
The pipeline has capacity of 1 million metric tons per annum. It will supply refined diesel will be supplied to Parbatipur depot from Numaligarh of Assam in India. Initially, it will supply Bangladesh 2.5 lakh tonnes of diesel every year and gradually it will be increased to 4 lakh tonnes. The project will replace existing practice of sending diesel by rail covering distance of 510 kilometers. The estimated this pipeline project is Rs. 346 crore and it will be completed in 30 months’ timeframe.