India-Bangladesh border conference begins

Agartala, Aug 22 (IANS) The India-Bangladesh joint border conference began here Thursday to settle various disputes along the border shared by the two neighbours, officials here said.

"There is no major problem along the India-Bangladesh border. There are some minor disputes in a few portions of the international border in Tripura, and we would settle them in the meeting," Abdul Mannan, director general of Bangladesh land records and survey directorate, said.

He said: "There are some 500 border pillars along the India-Bangladesh border in Tripura. In the meeting, we would jointly identify the place of the missing pillars and take steps to repair them."

An official of Tripura's land records and settlement department said that, if necessary, the two countries would jointly conduct a survey and re-demarcate disputed areas where there are no border pillars for a long time.

In the three-day 82nd border conference, the six-member Indian side is led by Survey of India's Kolkata-based director (in-charge of eastern Indian states) N.R. Biswal, while the six-member Bangladesh side is headed by Abdul Mannan.

Mannan, just before commencing the meeting, told reporters that the last border conference was held in Dhaka; the next such meet would also be held in the Bangladesh capital.

"In the Agartala border conference, future joint plans about the bordering areas of the two countries would also be finalised," he said.

Of the 4,095-km-long border between India and Bangladesh, Tripura shares 856-km border with that country, while West Bengal shares a maximum of 2,216 km, followed by Meghalaya (443 km), Mizoram (318 km) and Assam (262 km).

A large portion of the India-Bangladesh border remains unfenced, porous, mountainous and riverine.