The country – already enjoying transit and transshipment facilities from its eastern neighbour – made proposals at several meetings last year
There has been concern and questions about a piece of Bangladesh land, recently. India reportedly wants to expand its airport here.
The country – already enjoying transit and transshipment facilities from its eastern neighbour – made proposals at several meetings last year.
Requesting Bangladesh territory in Brahmanbaria, for Agartala's Maharaja Bir Bikram airport upgradation, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb has written to the Centre, reported Hindustan Times.
"Even now, aircraft approaching the existing runway fly low over Bangladeshi territory before landing. Both the primary and secondary runways start just a few metres from the zero line of the international border and both have to be lengthened to their south and south-west," a senior Indian civil aviation ministry bureaucrat told news magazine ‘Swarajya'.
Defending the proposal, Indian officials pointed out that there is a precedent for this as India leased out the Tin Bigha Corridor to Bangladesh in 1992.
"There is no question of giving them our territory," Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told Anadolu Agency.
"Why would they use our land? They can use their land for this expansion," he said, pointing out that India has enough land in its territory around the airport to expand it.
"If there is an open-space boundary between Bangladesh and India like in European Union or a peaceful boundary like between the US and Canada, such a proposal makes sense," Shahiduzzaman, a professor of International Relations at Dhaka University, told Anadolu Agency.
But India has erected two to three layers of barbed wire fences at the border and frequent incidents of killing are being reported, he argued.
"We have very limited land," said Abu Ahmed, an Economics professor at Dhaka University, "while India has huge land."
"Why do they want land from us then?"
"The issue should be publicly debated. It is not just about good political connectivity between the two governments. It is about the interest of the whole country," Ahmed commented.
The Maharaja Bir Bikram Airport, which is about 20 kilometres from Tripura's capital city Agartala, is just a kilometre away from the India-Bangladesh border.
After having upgraded the Guwahati and Imphal airports to international standards, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) plans to do the same with Agartala airport.
Bangladesh is seeking details on where and how much land is required and how India wants to use the land, reports The Times of India citing officials.