Dhaka: Bangladesh and India have begun setting up fences within 150 yards of the zero line along the international border.
The exercise, which is on for some months now, marks a deviation from the Indo-Bangladesh Boundary Agreement 1974 that restricts any construction within 150 yards of the zero line.
"It is essentially addressing the needs of both too," The Daily Star newspaper said Monday and added that the move marked "thawing of thorny border ties".
Bangladesh has allowed India to erect fences at a dozen new places and India recently began construction. In return, India allowed Bangladesh to construct structures within 150 yards of the zero line at 11 points.
The initiative came from India early last year. It had been seeking to erect such fences within 150 yards of the zero line at 46 places.
Bangladesh`s border guard chief, Maj.Gen. Rafiqul Islam, told the newspaper Sunday: "As we have agreed to the Indian proposal, India is also reciprocating by allowing Bangladesh to construct a bridge in Laxmipur, expansion of a wall in Hili, construction of approach roads in Moulvibazar and Bhomra, and several other initiatives."
"Our mutual agreement has created a very positive environment. Both countries are now willing to resolve long standing minor issues," he said. The border fencing by India to prevent smuggling of humans, cattle, drugs and arms has been a prickly issue in bilateral relations.
The official said India had been allowed to carry out fencing after surveys had been conducted. "We are continuing such surveys to see if accepting the Indian proposal will affect Bangladesh adversely in anyway," the official said.
He made it clear that both countries are constructing the structures within their own boundaries.
India has so far fenced 3,300 km of the border beyond the 150 yard zone within its own territory in line with the boundary agreement.