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Transit: Blessing or Curse?

Transit is the burning topic now a days. Transit seems to be a "All South Asian global concern drawing the attention of the people from all walks countries would of life. Though politically transit which is defined as Asian provide to each Highway this region is likely to bring a new dime- scion in this other, reciprocally, subcontinent. It is an internationally recognized communication transit facilities to system. No country in the world may be self-sufficient in her third countries communication. In that context, one country may be dependent on Dr. Manmohan Singh others for her own sake and considering that need of comin the inaugural medication two or more countries get mutually involved in an session of 13th agreement or contract by which they may be allowed to use each SAARC summit others land and that is thought to be a transit. Transit may be arranged in def-ferment ways like by air by land or by water. Near about most of the countries are having transit system and Bangladesh maintains air ways which may be stated also as transit. The other countries that are using the skies of Bangladesh that service may also be stated as transit. In the countries of Europe America and Africa are said to have the advantages of transit and the satiates of Europe are very much interdependent for their trade and commerce.

What is transit?
There are three modes for regional and international movement of goods transshipment, transit and corridor. Each form has a different meaning and significance for the parties involved. Transshipment Transshipment is the act of shipping goods to an intermediate destination and then from there to yet another destination. Transshipment is normally fully legitimate and widely used for international trade. However, it can be used illegitimately to disguise country of origin or intent of the goods to avoid restrictions and customs duties. Transit Transit means the transportation of goods and passengers from one country over a particular land or water route of another country to a third country in accordance to specific agreement and regulations. The host country retains the sovereign control of the route. Movement of goods from India to Myanmar, for example, over a route in Bangladesh may be said to enjoy transit facilities. Corridor Corridor is usually a narrow strip of land connecting one part of a country to another part of the same country, e.g. the Siliguri Corridor (Chickens Neck) of India. It also means giving

one country full control over a certain part of the territory of another country for transport of goods and for other purposes.

WTO rules regarding Transit

Governing principles of Transit and Transhipment in International Trade: Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article V of GATT 1994: GATT Article V on Transit and Transshipment in International Trade is an integral part of WTO framework Compliance of Transit and Transshipment provisions of GATT Article V is obligatory for both Bangladesh and India subject to flexibilities accorded to LDCs.

Article V (1) Goods (including baggage), and also vessels and other means of transport, shall be deemed to be in transit across the territory of a contracting party when the passage across such territory, with or without trans-shipment, warehousing, breaking bulk, or change in the mode of transport, is only a portion of a complete journey beginning and terminating beyond the frontier of the contracting party across whose territory the traffic passes. Traffic of this nature is termed in this article traffic in transit.

Article V (2) there shall be freedom of transit through the territory of each contracting party, via the routes most convenient for international transit, for traffic in transit to or from the territory of other contracting parties. No distinction shall be made which is based on the flag of vessels, the place of origin, departure, entry, exit or destination, or on any circumstances relating to the ownership of goods, of vessels or of other means of transport." Article V of GAAT 1947: All charges and regulations for traffic in transit (with or without transshipments) are governed by the mandatory provisions of paragraphs 3-5 0f Article V of GAAT 1947.

-- Any contracting party may require that traffic in transit through its territory be entered at the proper custom house, but, except in cases of failure to comply with applicable customs laws and regulations, such traffic coming from or going to the territory of other contracting parties shall not be subject to any unnecessary delays or restrictions and shall be exempt from customs duties and from all transit duties or other charges imposed in respect of transit, except charges for transportation or those commensurate with administrative expenses entailed by transit or with the cost of services rendered.

-- All charges and regulations imposed by contracting parties on traffic in transit to or from the territories of other contracting parties shall be reasonable, having regard to the conditions of the traffic.

-- With respect to all charges, regulations and formalities in connection with transit, each contracting party shall accord to traffic in transit to or from the territory of any other contracting party treatment no less favourable than the treatment accorded to traffic in transit to or from any third country.

-- Obligations regarding the nature of charges or regulations a Member may legitimately impose are set out in paragraphs 3-5. As a general rule, traffic in transit shall be exempt from customs duties. Furthermore, such traffic is to be exempted from "all transit duties or other charges imposed in respect of transit, except charges for transportation or those commensurate with administrative expenses entailed by transit or with the cost of services rendered".

This means that there are only two kinds of charges a member may legitimately impose on traffic in transit: charges for (i) transportation and for (ii) administrative expenses caused by transit or services rendered. And even here (as well as in the case of other permitted formalities and regulations); such charges have to be reasonable (paragraph 4) and nondiscriminatory (paragraph 5). The general principle therefore is that transit traffic shall not be a source of fiscal revenue.

According to paragraph 4, all charges and regulations imposed by a Member on traffic in transit shall be "reasonable, having regard to the conditions of the traffic" "the word 'charges' includes charges for transportation by Government-owned railroads or Governmentowned modes of transportation'

Paragraph 5 calls for most-favoured-nation treatment of traffic in transit with respect to all charges, regulations and formalities in connection with transit

Asian High Way

The Asian Highway (AH) project, also known as the Great Asian Highway, is a cooperative project among countries in Asia and Europe and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), to improve the highway systems in Asia. It is one of the three pillars of Asian Land Transport Infrastructure Development (ALTID) project, endorsed by the ESCAP commission at its 48th session in 1992, comprising Asian Highway, Trans-Asian Railway (TAR) and facilitation of land transport projects. The Asian Highway project was conceived in 1959. This grand project of building a highway in the Asian continent was sponsored by the Economic and Social Council for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) of the United Nations. The project remained in a limbo for more than a

quarter century and was revived in accordance with the inter-governmental agreement in 2001 in Seoul. The Asian Highway Authority set the deadline of December 31, 2005 for joining the multilateral project. The deadline has already expired. But countries can still join the project Bangladesh could not decide in time to be part of the project. Of the three possible routes that may connect the country with the continental network, the last BNP government preferred the Dhaka-Yangon alignment. Bangladesh was willing to make the necessary construction at its own cost. But Myanmar was yet to agree to this arrangement. The two other options start from Benapole of India near Bangladesh border and end at Tamabil. Both of these routes start and end in Indian Territory after a short journey through Bangladesh.

Purpose of Asian Highway According to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the purposes of Asian Highway are framed as following table:

Bangladesh's current situation on AH Bangladesh already is connected with India through different highway root. Among them, Benapole (connects Jessore division with West Bengal), Sona-Masjid (connects Rajshahi division with north of West Bengal), Hilli (connects Dinajpur with Northern West Bengal), Tamabil (connects Sylhet Division with Meghalaya), Jokigonj (connects Sylhet Division with Assam), Akhaura (connects Comilla with Tripura). Besides those, Bangladesh is also connected with India through many other borders). Goods are pouring into Bangladesh from India through all those borders. Compared to the amount of goods imported from India, Bangladesh is exporting less than one tenth of its goods to India through those borders, since India has many restrictions to import Bangladeshi goods. As per ESCAP's definition, the benefits of connecting Asian Highway for Bangladesh is to increase its business tie with India, China (Kunming), Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. (In short, it is to accelerate business with all southeast Asian countries and Kunming (China).

There is no way we can get extra business by Asian Highway from India as we are already connected with India by so many highways through different points (see the map). Currently, many goods arrive in Chittagong port from different countries of the World and some of them are exported to Seven Sisters (eastern states of India) from Bangladesh by using highways through Akhaura, Jokygonj and Tamabil (Sylhet) borders.

Issues to consider
Justification of Chittagong Transport Way We can reach more easily to the same spot in Myanmar by traveling only 30 miles from south of Chittagong from where we can go to any other countries like Kunming(China), Myanmar, Thailand, Hanoi (Vietnam), Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. Bangladesh can easily be connected with India, Nepal or Bhutan in a better way. Travelling to Nepal, we need only 40 miles road through India. Thus Chittagong port can be more dynamic as shipped goods can easily be reached to Nepal and Bhutan and even to many Indian States. This may reduce trade gap between India and Bangladesh. Bangladesh will be more secured in terms of business and security. India also can be benefited by importing goods from Bangladesh by using Chittagong port. Benefits of Asian Highway for Bangladesh Connecting Kunming City of China with shortest distance for doing better businesses. Connecting South-East Asian countries i.e. Thailand (Bangkok), Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), Singapore, and Indonesia (Jakarta), Vietnam and Cambodia by land with possible shortest distance for doing better businesses as well. Connecting India, Nepal and Bhutan for also doing better businesses to minimize trade deficit with them. We must need to mention that India is already connected with Bangladesh through many Highways and Water routes.

How will India gain its business with Proposed Asian Highway India will transport its goods from West Bengal to Seven Sisters and vice versa easily as they don't need to travel extra thousands of kilometers. Thus export from Bangladesh to Seven Sisters will be reduced or end. From Seven Sisters states, India will export its products to all South-East Asian countries easily via Myanmar (Burma) (they don't need to travel through Bangladesh). This will deprive Bangladesh from its desire to do business with South East Asian countries. India can do a better business from Seven Sisters to Kunming area of China thus Bangladesh must deprive from her desire to do business with China (Kunming). More goods will be imported to Bangladesh from India in more efficient way. How Bangladesh will lose its business with Proposed Asian Highway Bangladesh will have to travel extra thousand of Kilometer path to reach in the same destination in Myanmar from where different routes start toward Kunming(China), Myanmar(Burma), Thailand, Hanoi(Vietnam), Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia as the proposed route goes from Sylhet to Meghalaya- Assam-Nagaland-Manipur and then Myanmar. Travelling of additional thousand kilometers will take at least two

days of extra time for the trucks or buses as those are hill areas and the speed cannot be higher. Whereas reaching in the same destination in Myanmar, we just need to travel only 30 miles away from Chittagong. In addition, the above mentioned countries can be traveled easily from there too. There will be no need of Bangladeshi goods for Seven Sisters as they will get Indian products easily from West Bengal area using Asian Highway via Bangladesh (West Bengal-Jessore-Sylhet-Seven Sister proposed route). Bangladesh will be flooded with Indian goods more easily using Asian Highway proposed route. Because of reason # 1, there will be no way for Bangladesh to do business with China or any of the South-East Asian countries using the proposed Asian Highway. On the contrary, India will occupy all the businesses and solely benefited by using proposed Highway.

Because of the same reason, Bangladesh will be poorer (as the current level of export will stop to India) and India will be the most gainer. Because of the same reason, Chittagong port will lose its strength (business). Nepal-India-Bangladesh Transit: Nepal and Bangladesh signed a Trade and Payments Agreement and a Transit Agreement in 1976. The following six places have been approved for the movement of traffic-in-transit through the ports and other territory by all means of transport: The seaports of Khulna-Chalna and Chittagong The following border points on the Bangladeshi-Indian border - Biral, Banglabandh, Chilhati, and Benapole.

Border Points: Benapole is a road crossing point near Calcutta and its Indian side border point is Petrapole. Chilhati is a broad gauge rail terminal which used to be connected with the Indian side of border rail station Haldibari before 1971. Currently, Nepal is using the border crossing points of Biral and Banglabandh, which will be described in the following paragraphs.

Transit Routes: Biral which is a meter gauge rail point at Bangladesh border was brought under regular use for the movement of Nepal's trade traffic to and through Bangladesh after the Government of India allowed the rail connection from its border station Radhikapur to Biral. India has allowed use of the road connecting its Phulbari border point with Bangladesh. The Kakarvita (Nepal Border)-Panitanki (India Border with Nepal)-Phulbari (India Border with Bangladesh) route provides a shortest access of only 44 km to Banglabandh border for Nepal's trade with and through Bangladesh. As the short route was very congested, a new route of about 55-km passing through Bagdogra and Ghose Pukur by-pass is made open for truck transportation all days of the week. Compared to Radhikapur-Biral rail route connecting the India-Nepal border transit points and requiring to follow all the transit procedures as laid down in the Treaty of Transit, the Phulbari-Banglabandh route was allowed only for one border crossing point of KakarvitaPanitanki road with the application of different operational modalities. Bangladesh-India 'Inland water transit protocol: The inland water transit protocol was first signed in 1972. The protocol provides to make mutually beneficial arrangements for the use of their waterways for commerce maintaining the river routes within its territory in a

navigable condition. It was renewed in 1999, 2001, 2007 before the latest renewal on February 9, 2010 signed during the day-long visit of Indian External Affairs Minister Pronob Mukherjee.

The countries now allow each other ten points as ports of call to ferry their goods. The ports are Ashuganj, Narayanganj, Mongla, Khulna and Sirajganj for India and Kolkata, Haldia, Karimganj Silghat and Pandu for Bangladesh. In keeping with the protocol, both the countries allow transit for cargo through eight routes, counting both ways. 1. The Kolkata-Pandu route stretches via Haldia, Raimangal, Chalna, Khulna, Mongla, Kaukhali, Barisal, Hizla, Chandpur, Narayanganj, Aricha, Sirajganj, Bahadurabad, Chilmari and Dhubri. 2. The Kolkata-Karimganj route stretches via Haldia, Raimangal, Mongla, Kaukhali, Barisal, Hizla, Chandpur, Narayanganj, Bhairab Bazar, Ajmiriganj, Markuli, Sherpur, Fenchuganj and Zakiganj. 3. Two of the routes are between Rajshahi and Dhulian via Godagari, both ways. 4. The Karimganj-Pandu route stretches via Zakiganj, Fenchuganj, Sherpur, Markuli, Ajmiriganj, Bhairab Bazar, Narayanganj, Chandpur, Aricha, Sirajganj, Bahadurabad, Chilmari and Dhubri. Bhutan-Bangladesh Transit: Bhutanese exporters have started using the new trade route via Dawki-Tamabil land custom station route via India's north-eastern region to export to Bangladesh from January 25, 2010. Until recently Bhutanese exporters used the route through Siliguri in West Bengal to transport goods to Bangladesh. The new route is expected to reduce distance (Bhutan- Changrabandha to Dhaka is 600+450 km Bhutan- Dawki-Tamabil is 280+54 km) to only 334 Kilometers from around 1050 km, save time and cut transportation cost. New Delhi and Dhaka recently agreed to upgrade facilities in the DawkiTamabil Land Custom Station.

The Indian way of Transit

The recent developments, especially with the unhindered transport of goods from Kolkata (India) to Tripura (India) via rivers and roads using Ashugonj port in Bangladesh, and the proposal for using the Chittagong port for the same purpose have generated extreme controversies and uncertainties in the already divided internal politics of Bangladesh.

During the last two years, Bangladesh and India have signed several agreements on movement of Indian goods using several points and routes in Bangladesh. While the term Transit has been used in these agreements, its nature is more in line with Corridor facilities. Bangladesh has not yet given full control to India, but the latter is being given unilateral use of the route. In recent months, while Indian lorries carrying heavy equipment passed from Ashugonj to Agartala breaking the serial, Bangladeshi trucks carrying exportable goods from Bangladesh to Indias Tripura state were required to wait. Indian lorries had preference and total freedom of movement on the Bangladeshi roads. The facilities for transport of Indian goods from one part of India to its another part (entry and exit points in the same country) are best described as transit-corridor facilities. Background Dhaka-Delhi January 2010 agreement: Bangladesh agreed to provide passage (Transit) of goods between two places in India through the territory of Bangladesh under Article VIII of Bangladesh-India Trade Agreement, 1986 "Article VIII The two Governments agree to make mutually beneficial arrangements for the use of their waterways, roadways and railways for commerce between the two countries for passage of goods between two places in one country through the territory of the other." Bangladesh-India Trade Agreement was signed in 1986 by C. T. A. Siddiki and Pronob Mukharjee. Unless renewed it expires in three years. It was renewed on 21.03.06 in NewDelhi by Mr. Kamal Nath and Mr. M. Saifur Rahman and renewed again on February 9, 2010 signed dring the day-long visit of Indian External Affairs Minister Pronob Mukherjee. During Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to New Delhi in January, 2010, Bangladesh and India had agreed under as flows: Full details of the Hasina-Singh agreements have not been published. However, according to various media reports, the main points of the agreements are as follows: (1) Bangladesh would allow Indian container cargo by rail, road and river transport (no restriction on air traffic). (2) It would provide India access to Ashugonj Port for transport of heavy machinery (OverDimensional Cargo, ODC) for construction of a power plant in Tripura. (3) It would allow the use of Chittagong and Mongla seaports by India.

(4) India would allow Bangladesh the use of Tin Bigha Corridor for 24 hours a day for access to the Dahagram and Angarpota enclaves. (5) Reopen Sabroom-Ramgarh trade point. (6) Open land route at Demagiri-Thegamukh on Mizoram border. (7) Start border Haats at the Bangladesh-Meghalaya border. (8) India would assist Bangladesh in the expansion and modernization of railways and in river dredging. (9) Problems of all enclaves and disputed border lands would be solved by joint surveys. (10) Both countries would conduct Joint Hydrological Observations for water sharing treaty of Teesta and other rivers. (11) A system of joint border management would be put in place for prevention of crossborder crimes, smuggling of arms and goods, drug- and human-trafficking and of illegal movement of people. (12) Bangladesh would provide assistance to the Indian security forces for suppression of the insurgency movements in the seven sister states. (13) Both countries would collaborate for security, stability and counter-terrorism in the region. (14) Both countries would collaborate on healthcare, education, cultural, scientific and other issues (15) India would allow some Bangladeshi products entry into the Indian market without any duties and by removing the existing tariff and non-tariff barriers, to reduce the huge trade gap. It is absolutely clear and evident that the agreement does not even mention "transit and transshipment" of normal commercial cargoes from one place in India through Bangladesh to another place in India. It entails only one-time or longer term transportation of non commercial ODCs (Over Dimensional Cargo) from Ashuganj.

ODA Consignment: India has sought 'special permission' from Bangladesh under "Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade" between Bangladesh and India (PIWTT) for transportation of the some 'over-dimensional consignments' (about 290 tonnes) of power generation equipments from Kolkata port to Pallatana in Tripura state through Bangladesh for setting up a power plant.

The transport of goods from Ashuganj by road to Akhaura is not covered by the PIWTT. Transportation of goods from one part of India to another part through Bangladesh is beyond the scope and mandate of the PIWTT. The PIWTT does not allow multi-modal transport facilities as it is only meant for transport of goods for transit through waterways and not through the land route. Proposed Transit-Corridor routes. Although media reports have suggested a possible 15-17 transit-corridor routes for India, we do not yet know exactly how many land and river routes would be used under the recent (and any future) agreements and which would be the exact entry and exit points. What is known, however, is that 2-3 routes would be used for now and other routes would be opened up gradually. A map published in the Daily Star on July 25, 2011 shows some of the possible transit routes. This map indicates very graphically and clearly that most routes would crisscross Bangladesh from west to the east and from south to the north. All the east-west, and some of the south-north, routes are surely for easy transport between two areas of India. A few south-north routes are proposed to be used by landlocked Nepal and Bhutan (no objection from any quarters of Bangladesh), but considering Indias hyper-sensitivity about its own security, the implementation of this part of the transit process may be a very difficult task.

Issues to consider
why does India want Transit-Corridor through Bangladesh? There are several reasons for which India has been insisting on getting transit-corridor facilities through Bangladesh. Some of these reasons are as follows: 1. Unfettered, cost-effective access to the northeast states. 2. Eliminating the insurgency threats in the northeast. 3. Preparing for any future military confrontation with China in the Arunachal Pradesh. 4. Easy access to Myanmar resources and market. 5. To uplift the mineral resources Problems of transit for Bangladesh: There may occur different kinds of problems along with the commercial political and strategic crises. They are as follows: 1. If the trade balance of India & Bangladesh is compared Bangladesh always remains against the favourable atmosphere of marketing. 2. If India is given transit there will be a great pressure on Chittagong sea port and on the roads and railways. It may be mentioned that Bangladesh will face various troubles regarding her economic and defence areas. 3. The transit advantage given to India will instigate her to control the rebels struggling in Nagaland Mizoram and other regions of the Noth-east zone for which India would send armed forces and other military instruments as a result the rebels of the Northeast zone of India might be against Bangladesh.Indias internal conflict will affect the security and stability of Bangladesh govt. 4. India might be in the doubt ot have aussed that the rebels of Mizoram have entered Chittagong Hill Tracts and as an excuse India would send her forces to Chittagong area which would be a great threat to the sovereignty of Bangladesh. 5. The goods which are likely to be carried through Bangladesh might be attacked or seized by the docoits or robbers or terrorists of Bangladeshthat may instigate to send her forcs and her civil officers may also be set for that purpose wich is undesirable for Bangladesh.

6. There may arise confict and mutual mis-understanding between China and Bangladesh for if Shileeguri corridor is occupid by China: India would treat Bangladesh as her defence and supply line. How the Bangladesh can be benefitted 1. Transit will make India to make a lot of investments in Bangladesh which would swiften the progress of our country. 2. According to the centre for po9licy dia-logue Bangladesh may obtain seven to eight hundred crores of taka every year as transit fees which will play a vital role in her economic prosperity. 3. Since transit has been accepted as the ties of global communication in Europe, America nd Africa now why should we be lagging behind by not accept-int the transit in Bangladesh. For international impor-tance and communication Bangladesh should be able to enjoy the advantages of her need. 4. For the last few years there was not a good relation between Bangladesh and India and doubtless to say that transit will make India more friendly and intimate with Bangladesh. 5. By the transit given to India, Bangladesh would be able to solve some crises relating to South Talpotti, Muhurir Char Shanti Bahinee, push-In disparity and also in the field of trade and commerce of Bangladesh. 6. If India is given the transit a lot of unem-ployed youth wil be employed with various jobs related to the transit atmosphere.

Transit suggestion
The economic and social benefits of Bangladesh through allowing transit to India, Nepal and Bhutan must be very transparent to the people of Bangladesh. Until this is done ill motivated people will continue to misguide common people through propaganda and make it extremely difficult for the politicians. What will be the basis of the transit tariff and toll? Who will pay for the extensive development of road, Railway and river communication infrastructures? What will be the guarantees of not transporting military arsenals across? Let there be meeting of minds on all these issues

However, as a gesture of goodwill, with the mutual approval of terms and conditions on case to case basis, Bangladesh may agree to provide passage through its territory non-commercial

cargo or goods and machineries relating to any public sector project for trade and economic development. To sum up the suggestions: 1. Content of the Transit agreement must be very transparent and should be made public before signing. 2. The best men of this sector must be appointed to look after the matter and ensure the Bangladeshs interest. 3. The Roads are not ready for the 15 tons trucks from India so initially the transshipment process must carry on and later after infrastructure development the transit process may continue. 4. Ensure the collection of fees as it is the only source of income. 5. Modernization of the ports (Chittagong & Mongla) and trained man power. 6. Allow India to transit only non commercial goods to safeguard the market of Bangladeshi product in 7 sisters provinces. 7. Dont open up the transit route at once, rather have to make it the mode of negotiation. 8. Transit decision must be taken by political consensus to avoid future conflict. Conclusion The cost of non-cooperation in transport being very high, transit needs to be provided by all SAARC countries to establish link with each other, on a reciprocal basis. India, Nepal and Bhutan, are all asking for not only transit through Bangladesh but also access to Bangladesh sea ports of Chittagong and Mongla. The recent joint communiqu issued by Bangladesh and India will open up connectivities sub-regionally, to all these 3-countries/territories. Bangladesh could in the process, gain considerably through trading in transport services, with the hinterland countries. These countries will also gain through savings in transport cost because of shorter trip lengths and access to Sea Ports. Thus it would be a win-win situation for all the four countries, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal. Economies of Bangladesh and NE-India (North-East India) are, however, complementary. While access of NE-India to Chittagong port could open up their economy to outside world, Bangladesh could also gain considerably in the process (Das, 2001). Scarcity of mineral resources, except natural gas, has been major problem for the development of Bangladesh. Northeast India with its huge mineral resource base can fill this vacuum. Moreover, the

complementary nature of the hill economies of North-east India, their agro forest resource base and hydro-power potentials can be of great help for the development of Bangladesh. To establish effective regional transport connectivity, political commitment is a must. In this context, the present timing is very opportune as all the SAARC countries have popularly elected governments in power. These governments should, therefore, take the opportunity to resolve all their outstanding issues through mutual consultation. In order to find a long lasting solution, it is essential to take a holistic view of the situation and identify all irritants as well as all opportunities which could be mobilized to resolve the outstanding issues. The understanding reached at the India-Bangladesh summit held in New Delhi in January, 2010 could help in resolving many of the irritants, if the issues are followed up properly at the bureaucracy level in both the countries. As Bangladesh is preparing to open up the sea ports together with efficient transport links to the hinterland countries, India should do the same to resolve all issues in respect of water sharing, removal of negative list to ensure zero tariffs for Bangladesh exports, resolving issues related to land and maritime boundary, etc. In view of the strong political commitment from both sides, I am confident that all issues related to transport connectivity and transit, as well as other unresolved issues identified in the Joint Communiqu will be resolved forever in the next 1 to 2 years through a process of give and take.

References: 1. Asian Highway Network- 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 012-02-25-16-38-43&catid=48:2010-08-31-09-43-22&Itemid=82 9. 10. 11.