Assam to gain land from Bangladesh: Tarun Gogoi

In the event of the land swap deal with Bangladesh being struck, Assam would stand to gain 397.5 acres of land from the neighbouring country, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said.

PTI| Updated: Dec 20, 2013, 17:30 PM IST

Guwahati: In the event of the land swap deal with Bangladesh being struck, Assam would stand to gain 397.5 acres of land from the neighbouring country, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Friday said.

Gogoi said opposition BJP and AGP`s contrary stand against the land boundary agreement arguing that the state would have to give away land to Bangladesh was an effort to mislead the public for their political gain.

Gogoi told reporters here, "Altogether 665 acres of land was under adverse possession of both the countries and following the land transfer agreement, Assam will regain 397.5 acres of land while Bangladesh will get 267.5 acres."

"Where does the question of the state giving away land arise? Actually, both the BJP and AGP are out to politicise the issue and their protests only prove, they do not want the land to be included within the state," he said.

He also alleged that both BJP and AGP did nothing to ensure that the land under adverse possession was returned to the state while they were in power both at the Centre and the state.

The land in adverse possessions are in the maps of each country but actually they are not in control of either of the two countries and the land transfer will ensure "land in adverse possession are exchanged and we regain what is rightfully ours."

The land swap agreement would also ensure demarcation and erection of fencing on the unfenced 2.86-km stretch in the Lathitilla-Dumabari sector in Karimganj district along the Indo-Bengal border.

Gogoi said, "The deal benefits us. We will not only get
land, but the fencing can be completed as well and we will be able to improve relation with the neighbouring country."

"Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had consulted us on the issue and we agreed as we stand to gain from it," he said.

Gogoi pointed out that the land deal would improve trade relation with Bangladesh and "we want friendly ties with all our neighbouring countries."

Assam has a 269-km border with Bangladesh, out of which 40 km is riverine and fencing has been completed in 222.67 kms of the border.

"Assam has a completed fencing of more than 97 per cent which is the highest among all the other states like West Bengal, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura having border with Bangladesh," the chief minister pointed out.

The number of outposts along the border has been increased and flood lights are being installed. A length of 257.70 km out of the total 288.75 km of border roads have been completed while work was on progress in the remaining 31.05 km, he said.

The preparatory work on updating the National Register of Citizens, 1951 has been completed and the entire process was expected to be completed within 36 months, Gogoi said.

All those who came to and settled before 1971 would be considered as Indians, he said.
The updating would be conducted on a door-to-door basis and all residents would be given the requisite form.

The funds for the exercise would be entirely borne by Registrar General of India for engaging contractual staff, outsourcing of services, procuring of computers, scanners, generators and hiring of vehicles.

Financial and administrative powers would be delegated to the state coordinator, who will carry out the entire NRC updation process on behalf of RGI, he said.

The Centre last Wednesday tabled a constitutional amendment bill in the Rajya Sabha to facilitate the swap of land enclaves with Bangladesh.