Transit Facilities To India Through The Territory Of Bangladesh
Department of Economics , Shallow University of Science and Technology, Sylphs, Bangladesh,Email: anwarbabu40@gmail. Com 1. Introduction A debate has been raging in the country on whether transit facilities should be given to India or not through the land territory of Bangladesh. Some argue that it should not be given unless some core bilateral issues with India are resolved, while some have advanced the view that transit is an economic issue for trade facilitation and should not be politicized.
Some have argued that what India wants is not a transit UT a corridor. Whichever view one holds, the fact of the matter is that transit issue is a complex one. It is a multi-faceted issue. Is transit an economic issue? Some argue transit is an economic issue. It facilitates trade and therefore it may be perceived as such. I would argue that this is conceivable but for most of the cases political relations define economic relations. In other words, political relations cannot be separated from economic relations.
History is replete with examples of friendly political relations providing the climate and the incentive for forging closer economic elation. It has been seen that in most case progression has been from close political relations
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In that context, for creating an appropriate political climate, India has to come up with fair and Just rapports to resolve some of the bilateral issues that affect Bangladesh people with “bread and butter issues”. The issues of top priority are (a) maritime boundary, (b) land boundary including the exchange of enclaves, (c) reduction of huge trade deficit and (d) equitable sharing and management of water of trans-boundary Rivers. Moreover giving transit facility to India will enhance economic competition between Bangladesh and India.
Will Bangladesh be capable to compete with a country of large economy like India? 2. Background Bangladesh lies astride the Indian mainland and its North Eastern Region (NEAR) imprisoning seven relatively small Indian states. Prior to the partition of India in 1947, the trade and commerce of the NEAR with the rest of India and the outside world used to pass through the territories of what is now Bangladesh. Rail and river transit across the former East Pakistan continued till 1965 when, as a consequence of the Indo-Pack war, all transit traffic were suspended.
Although river transit was restored transshipment. From the Indian point of view, transit or transshipment across Bangladesh is important because it will greatly boost the economy of the NEAR. While Bangladesh could greatly benefit from transit fees and potentially huge Indian investment in the transportation network, there are doubts in various corners in Bangladesh regarding the security implications of such a deal? The connotation of transit is to be distinguished from that of a corridor.
In the corridor, a country gives some kind of rights or control on the land to the other country making it a defaced of its territory, while in transit there is no question of rights involved in the land territory allowed for transit. It provides only transit facilities under certain conditions and can be withdrawn. For example, under the Bangladesh-India 1974 Land Boundary Agreement, Bangladesh wanted a lease in perpetuity an area of Indian’s territory 178 meters X 85 meters near Tin Bight to connect enclave Datagram with main land of Bangladesh. But eventually Bangladesh did not get “corridor” from India.
In pre-partition days, Zinnia wanted a corridor from East Pakistan to West Pakistan through India but India rejected it because Pakistan would have control on the land territory of the corridor. Russia wants a corridor from its territory Calendaring to Russian’s mainland through Lithuania but it has been rejected because f the same reasons. In the instant case, India wants to dispatch goods and other materials from western parts of India to its seven land-locked northeastern states through Bangladesh and no kind of rights exists on the land territory of Bangladesh.
This is transit, an inter-country passage, like waterway-transit already provided to India since 1972. Transshipment is distinct from transit. Transshipment refers to the same inter-country passage using Bangladesh-owned transportation, whereas in transit Indian -owned surface transport move through the transit from one end to the other. In Europe, Germany or Austria sends goods to Italy through Switzerland. Another instance of transit, Alaska dispatches goods to mainland US through Canada. 3. Objective 1 .
Examine the transportation infrastructure of Bangladesh to determine the possibilities of transshipment. 2. Examine whether transshipment strengthen the economy of Bangladesh. 4. Methodology 4. 1 Concepts: It is said that the system of trade routes first originated with the nomadic people who along with their cattle, sheep, assess and goats had often moved from their places in search of fresh pastures. In course of time, the route was used by the traders as in he process assess, oxen, horses, yak were tamed and utilized for carrying goods.
This was the beginning of this trade process, which was at first based on barter and exchange and later on money. Now-a-days the route has been an important element to fostering international trade. Based on security, sovereignty as well as involvement of the countries the route is commonly known as Transit or Transshipment or corridor. Though these three words seem to be similar, there is a clear distinction among them. Generally in the corridor, a country gives some kind of rights or control here is no question of rights involved in the land territory allowed for transit.
It provides only transit facilities under conditions and can be withdrawn. For example, under the Bangladesh-India 1974 Land Boundary Agreement, Bangladesh wanted a lease in perpetuity an area of Indian’s territory 178 meters X 85 meter meters near Tin Bight to connect enclave Datagram with main land of Bangladesh. The transit for a country is mainly access through a country to the third one. For example, India has a transit to Afghanistan through Iran. So, Indian goods can board from Iranian ports and go through to Afghanistan.
However, due to geographical complexity, in this case, the transit refers to connectivity between North-East Indian seven sisters’ states with mainland India, especially West Bengal. The goods carried from North-East, comes to mainland India through a strip of Assam and North Bengal, taking a route miles longer than what could have been a shortage through Bangladesh. Bangladesh government never allowed India to have a transit in return of a hefty transit fee offered by India. The transit, that could have been a win-win situation, has been refused as a threat to National security.
The other point of interest here could be the reinstatement. Here, transit refers to the passage across Bangladesh territory of Indian goods to and from the north eastern states of India using Indian owned surface transports, while transshipment refers to the same movement using Bangladesh owned transports. 4. 2 Review of Literature DRP. Distant Unary 2, 2006) studied about transit in prospect of Bangladesh. He indicated about the potential damages for Bangladesh in consequences of transit. DRP.
Zimmermann states about separatist movement in north eastern region of India in his paper “Transit security and sovereignty of Bangladesh”. Brig Gene. Shakily Named, and, SC, made a paper “Transit and Transshipment: Implication for Bangladesh” for national defense staff college. He focused the history of transit between Bangladesh and India. He said about the Roads and Highway system. He was suspicious about the feasibility of Roads and Highway of Bangladesh for giving transit. Unruly Most Kaki wrote an article in “The Daily Nay Distant”. N his article he said about the infeasibility of Chitchatting port for using our neighboring countries. He was concerned about the security of the country too. Babul Bays wrote an article in “A Debate on Transit Transshipment” edited by Mukluk Kidder. He also suspicious about transit and transshipment facilities to give our neighboring country. Barrister Harlan our Rashes former Bangladesh ambassador to I-IN, Geneva analyzed the topic in his paper “Transit Issue with India: A comprehensive approach”. He transit merely considered as an economic issue or political too? DRP.
Tare Shamans Airman has written his book (Aforesaid Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh-An Assessment) transit not only depends on the relationship between two countries that is facility giving by a country and facility taking the other country. In that case politics and economics must be considered. DRP. Ferrous Nomad Koshers’ emphasized the gee-political condition of Bangladesh in “About Sub Regional Alliances: Transit Issue and Exporting Gas” edited by DRP. Tare Shamans Airman. DRP. Amaze Duding Named wrote an article in “About Sub Regional Alliances: Transit Issue and Exporting Gas” edited by DRP.
Tare Shamans Airman. He actually emphasized the south Asian development. 5. TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE IN BANGLADESH 5. 1 Railways At the time of the partition of India in 1947, erstwhile East Pakistan inherited the portion of Bengal and Assam Railway that fell within its borders. The track length of he railway then known as Pakistan Eastern Railway was about 2,604 km long. This became Bangladesh Railway (BRB) in 1971. BRB is divided into East and West zones separated by the river Jejuna. East Zone has 1,279 km of Meter- Gauge (MGM) track, and West Zone has 553 km of MGM and 936 km of Broad-Gauge (BIG) track.
The dual gauge system is complicated, time-consuming and inefficient. The two zones are connected by river ferries that take about 36-48 hours to ferry a goods train across the Jejuna. A railway line is fast nearing completion that would connect the two railway zones with a BIG-MGM dual track line across the Jejuna Multipurpose Bridge MOB) eliminating the ferry crossing. BRB is connected to the Indian railway system in the west at Beanpole Eyesore), Diarrhea (Skittish), Roundup (Chap Nabbing), Radiographic (Dinosaur) and Caliphate (Militiaman).
In the east, it can be easily restored at Shagbark (Sylphs) and a link to Greatly can be laid down at Koura at reasonable expense. Railway based transshipment can soon be done through Kola- Diarrhea-leisure- JAMB-Brain Bazaar – Koura – Cultural – Shagbark – Grammarian (India) route. This main route can use a number of alternative link variations mentioned below. The Kola – Beanpole – Josser – Diarrhea route can be a variation. The Radiographic – Partition – Sordid route can also be used. The Roundup – Rajahs -Sordid – Kandahar route may be used for goods originating in Malta (India).
The traffic density over the proposed transshipment route is generally quite low . The highest is between Koura-Brain Bazaar, which is 39. 21 trains per day of passenger and freight trains. This segment is only about 32 km in length and has double line compared to rest of the route which is single line. The rest of the route in the East Zone amounts to less than 24 trains per day. In the West Zone, along the proposed transshipment route, the average is less than 20 trains per day. 20 The is paltry. In 1969-70, this railway system clocked 144-million wagon km in the MGM section, whereas in 1999-00, this dropped to little over 61 million. 1 In 1969-70, BRB carried 4. 88 million tons of freight and this dropped to 2. 89 million tons in 1999-00. The actual amount of freight moved has remained static in the last thirty years in the East Zone. In the West Zone, it has reduced dramatically during the same period. Container traffic between Dacha and Chitchatting has doubled in the 1995-00 period whereas other freight traffic has reduced considerably as road based movement has proved more reliable and competitive. Once the railway link over the JAMB comes into operation, train travel time between Kola and Assam via JAMB will reduce by about 36-48 hours.
The traffic density between Tong and Brain Bazaar is 37. 32, which is high by BRB standards. In the short term, this segment will be able to absorb some additional traffic. In the medium term, however, Tong-Brain Bazaar route has to be upgraded to double line, even to accommodate traffic growth on the Dacha- Chitchatting route. Meanwhile, some transshipment traffic can be diverted through the Jodhpurs – Enmeshing – Brain Bazaar route, which has a traffic density of only 26 and can easily absorb fifty percent traffic growth. However, this diversion will increase travel times by about six hours.
The difference of railway gauges in the East and West Zone continues to be a serious bottleneck. Conversion of the entire network to BIG will require a huge investment. BRB is a losing concern; therefore, World Bank and other international financial institutions are not eager to invest in this sector. On he other hand, if Bangladesh desires to be part of the Trans-Asian Rail (TAR) network, it would entail the total conversion into BIG. Paucity of land and population pressure will limit the amount of land available for highway development.
Railways and TWIT are much more environmentally friendly, cheaper and cost effective than road-based movement. Therefore, it is logical that Bangladesh should develop its railways and waterways for freight and passenger traffic. Better management of BRB, including greater prevarication of services and outsourcing of maintenance, management and security has the potential to improve financial performance. At present, it takes BRB between 24-48 hours to shift freight from one gauge to the other using manual methods.
If container traffic is used for transshipment and mechanical equipment is used for inter-gauge transfer this time can be reduced to six hours. Once the JAMB rail link is commissioned, mechanical equipment can be installed at both Sordid and Jodhpurs to enable inter-gauge transfer of containers. Private operators can be contracted to install and operate these services obviating the need for Bra’s own investment. In the present system it will take 6-8 days for freight train to travel from Kola to Garnering in Assam.
This can be reduced Transit and Transshipment : Implications for Bangladesh by a third or even halved when the JAMB rail link is commissioned and if containers cargo is used with mechanical handling equipment at integrating transfer points. Once the JAMB railway link is commissioned, it may be possible to employ about ten freight trains for transshipment traffic every day raising the daily tonnage to about 8000 to 10,000 tons of containers cargo. In the case of non-containers cargo, the figure would be somewhat less. Thus, the annual capacity would be about 3. Million tons without a substantial expansion of layaway tracks and infrastructure. Bangladesh has over 27,000 km of paved roads, of which there are 3,096 km are national highways and another 1,744 km are regional highways. The rest are feeder roads not suitable for heavy or sustained traffic. The highway routes, which may be considered for transshipment, are given below: a. Route 1: Beanpole – Josser – Mama – Sylphs – Tamable/Garnering or Barbarian – Koura/Kasbah. B. Route 2: Beanpole – Josser – Archaic – Sylphs – Tamable/Garnering. C.
Route 3: Beanpole – Passkey – JAMB – Sylphs – Tamable/Garnering or JAMB – Barbarian – Koura/Kasbah. D. Route 4: Roundup – Rajahs – JAMB – Sylphs – Tamable/Garnering or JAMB – e. Route 5: Hill – Bogart – JAMB – Sylphs – Tamable/Garnering or JAMB f. Route 6: Bangladesh- Bogart – JAMB – Sylphs – Tamable/Garnering or JAMB – Routes 1, 2 and 3 will be favored as possible transshipment routes. Vehicles using these routes will have to negotiate the river ferry at Mama, Archaic and Passkey respectively. The Mama – Dacha segment of Route 1 is a regional highway class road and traffic is already quite heavy I. . , over 5000 vehicles per day. Route 2 also has to negotiate the river ferry at Archaic and the quality of road between Purified and Raja is of regional highway class. Traffic density between Archaic – Dacha – Marshaling is very high. Route 3 has to use the river ferry over Pad at Passkey. The road from Passkey to Pain is not suitable for heavy traffic. The Dacha segment of the route already suffers from severe traffic congestion. Routes 4 and 5 are goods transported and moderate traffic until JAMB. However, these routes are far from the major commercial centers in West Bengal.
Route 6 is suitable for traffic emanating from Nepal and to a lesser extent, Bhutan. The river ferries at Mama, Archaic and Passkey are major bottlenecks at present. The construction of the bridge at Passkey is progressing well, but all highway routes have to pass through the greater Dacha area, which already suffers from very heavy traffic congestion, and the system is unable to cope with the projected growth in domestic traffic. A Dacha bypass highway system and bridges at Mama and Passkey will be needed before considering road-based transshipment.
With the opening of the bridge over Meghan at Brain and upgrading of the Dacha – Sylphs highway, Routes 3, 4 and 5 may be possible transshipment routes. Road based freight movement has the advantage of flexibility, additional regional/ international traffic. Creation of such capacity will require massive investment and given the paucity of land, effect on environment and projected growth of domestic traffic, may not be possible at all. Indian roads are built to higher axle load specification (10. 2 tons) than those in Bangladesh (8. Tons)25 and therefore Indian trucks are designed to carry heavier loads than the load-bearing capacity of our roads. Therefore, sustained Indian truck traffic on Bangladesh highways is likely to cause damage in the order of 3. 83 times than the normal wear and tear at standard axle-load. 6 Major and sustained investment in the roads and highways system by India will have to be negotiated while negotiating transshipment proposals. 5. 3 Chitchatting Port Chitchatting Port is attractively sited as a port of entry for transshipment to NEAR using rail or road extension.
Chitchatting Port is presently considered very inefficient and one of the most expensive ports in the world. It takes an average of 7-10 days to clear a ship. The highest traffic density along the Chitchatting -Koura route is presently 37 trains per day with the Koura – Shagbark segment having a density of . Therefore, the railway link may be able to take some additional traffic but this will always be subject to traffic growth on the Chitchatting-Dacha route. The Chitchatting- Sylphs highway has extremely heavy traffic up to Camilla but thereafter the density is low.
The Camilla-Sylphs highway needs up-grading from regional to national highway category. Therefore, in the present state of infrastructure, road transshipment from Chitchatting to Assam has a very limited capacity. 5. 4 Inland Water Transport (TWIT) TWIT has historically been the most important mode of transport for the country. In Bangladesh, 30% of all cargo and 15% of passenger traffic (1989)27 are transported by inland waterways. Waterways are the cheapest mode of transportation for both cargo and passengers. TWIT is not only used for intra-country movement but a significant amount of import-export traffic is also routed through it.
According to the Inland Water Transport Authority (TWIT), the total length of navigable waterways is about 6000 km of which about 1700 km are navigable throughout the year, and the rest are available only during the rainy season (3-6 months). 28 Possible waterways for river transshipment round the year are: . Chitchatting – Chandler – Baggier/Niagara – Calamari – to Assam. B. Chitchatting – Chandler – Brain Bazaar/Assuming – by road to Assam ‘Tripper. C. Kola – Barista – Chandler -Brain Bazaar/Assuming – by road to Assam ‘Tripper. D. Kola – Barista – Baggier/Niagara – Calamari – to Assam. . 1 Traffic Jam in Dacha Dacha, the capital city of Bangladesh, has a great variety of tradition. Dacha’s eye- catching architectures and other famous installations are known and acclaimed at home and aboard. This is the city with historical background and loved by visitors at mom and abroad for Shaded Minor, National Museum, Alabama Kelly, Dacha University, Raman Park, Shoreward Adman, Mirror Zoo and many other beautiful and historical places of interest. Being the capital city, Dacha has many advantages for higher and specialized education, employments, trade and commerce.
As such, Dacha always attracts people from other parts of the country. Apart from many advantages, Dacha is burdened with many problems also, namely – housing problem, sanitation problem and problem related to water logging, etc. Yet, among many other problems, Dacha city has been experiencing severe traffic-problem which is a moon phenomenon in the city. The city-dwellers, city-planners, policy makers, the experts and researchers who think about the city will unanimously agree that Dacha is one of the most unplanned cities of the world. It is certainly a wonder how this megalopolis manages to survive.
Nonetheless, it manages to function somehow. The inhabitants living in this city are now approximately over 10 million, although there is perhaps no statistics about the exact number of population of Dacha city. Survey carried out randomly by different Authorities provided different data about the number of population in the city. However, it is estimated that population of Dacha will not be less than 15 million and yet the city is experiencing influx of population every day from different parts of the country due to the opportunities available and lack of opportunities in the areas from where they come.
Dacha city is lengthy in south and northern directions while its width consisting of east and western directions is few kilometers only. There is hardly any scope of its expansion in eastern and western side to a visible extent. Dacha city situation is more alarming mainly due to vehicular movement and traffic Jam. There are different types of cellular namely, car, bus, Jeep, truck, minibus, microbes, auto-rickshaw, tempo, mint-truck, motorcycles and innumerable numbers of rickshaws. Many of the vehicles that ply on Dacha’s streets daily are faulty and emit black smoke in excess of the prescribed limit.
Black smoke is primary unbarring carbon that is agglomerated into small particles caused by over-load and faulty engine condition of vehicles. Among others, notable causes of traffic Jam include violation of traffic rules, deplorable road condition, random stoppage of vehicles, unauthorized parking and use of footpath illegally. Moreover, for growing arbitration and affluence, the number of vehicles is also rising, contributing to more and more traffic Jams. Narrow roads and congestion are aggravating the situation further.
To quote KM Shadily Huge, Dacha Metropolitan Police Commissioner that one of the main reasons of traffic-Jam is due to unauthorized parking of vehicles here and there. It is learnt that registered number of rickshaws available in Dacha city is around 86,000 but actual number of the rickshaws is likely to be many times more having no registration. This poses serious threat in the traffic system of Dacha city. Sideband. There is a bus stand at Bulgaria, Sultana. There are innumerable numbers of ticket counters adjacent to main traffic points.
The worst traffic- vulnerable points include, among others, Catbird, Hotmail, Shiplap Chatter, Sultana, Danni Bangle, Palatal, New Market, Science Laboratory area, Shabby, Bangle Motor, Snapdragon-crossing, Pantograph, Frigate, Manikin Mina Avenue, Gadgets, Somali, Gallantly, Gigabit, Mirror-Chalkboard, Mikhail, Gilligan, Banana, Mocha, Kraal and Mailbags. Now-a-days residential areas are also experiencing heavy traffic- Jam. The areas include Diamonds, Banana, Goulash and other prime existential locations.
This is due to establishment of many schools, colleges, private universities and other educational institutions in those areas. Moreover, many offices, particularly private-owned offices and factories, are also located in the residential areas resulting in heavy traffic-Jam. Anybody crossing the areas can easily visualize the situation is grave as students with their guardians are waiting and waiting to reach destinations and others going to their work places. Everyday work-hours are unnecessarily wasted due to traffic Jam. It has a great economic impact on production and thus on our economy.
Traffic-Jam causes untold sufferings to the people going to offices and various destinations. Traffic-Jam causes air pollution which affects the respiratory tract, causes irritation, headache, fatigue, asthma, high blood pressure, heart diseases and cancer. Experts say if this trend continues unabated, most residents of the metropolis would become exposed to the risk of those ailments and different other health hazards and complications. The development of mental faculty of children would be impaired by lead pollution that could also affect the central nervous system and causes of renal image and hypertension.
The massive traffic congestion is taking its toll on human health, economy, environment and other anthropomorphic activities. This price tag is rather high when people have to spend hours unnecessarily on the road in sweltering heat, not to speak of the high humidity. The resulting misery generated by high heat and humidity takes its toll in human health. To add insult to the injury, the unpleasantness this high misery index generates slows down the productivity of a person. The traffic problem of Dacha is hindering the growth of this city and, at large, Bangladesh both.
On every intersection the drivers become quite unruly. A first time visitor may think that people here are the most wild who have no respect for law of the land. This is indeed a serious matter. Behavioral scientists have long since done experiments to show that even insects demonstrate aggressive behavior when they are placed in a crowded situation. Therefore, it comes as no surprise to see that Dacha’s pedestrians, the rickshaw pullers, baby taxi drivers, van Walla’s, and bus and truck drivers all vie for tiny spaces with noticeable aggression and utter disregard for there’ right of way.
This obviously creates serious problems such as unnecessary traffic holdup and some unhappy incidents. Serious vehicular-related accidents are growing at an accelerated rate for growing traffic problem. Direction) is few kilometers. The city could have moved only in the North-South direction. This imposes a serious restriction on the availability of land. But this severe paucity of land had hardly diminished the growth rate of this city. Any legitimate city planner worth his merits would not recommend the city of Dacha for people over 1-2 million. The ever- growing population had easily exceeded this capacity by 10 to 15 times already.
And there is no sign that the population growth in this city is abating. The present road system of Dacha, which is hardly adequate for moving vehicles for 1-2 million people, will virtually collapse when the population of this mega polis will increase further. It is hoped that urban planners of Dacha are doing their clearheaded thinking right now or else the system will collapse right before their eyes. 6. 2 Traffic Jam in Chitchatting Intolerable traffic Jams at the important roads in the port city have made lives of tizzy miserable here in Chitchatting.
No body can reach the destination with in schedule time due to the traffic Jams every where in the city. But, traffic department of Chitchatting Metropolitan Police (CPM) is doing nothing in this regard. According o the sources, there are traffic Jams at Chitchatting Export Processing Zone (COPE) area, Gator, Steel Mills Bazaar, Cement Crossing, Salt Goal point, Custom and Port point, Basis Road Point, Baric Building, Graded, Patchouli, Dean Hat, Tiger Pass, WAS point, GEE point, Scholars point, Bothered, Chicagoan Than point,
Chaparral, Chitchatting College and Monish College point, Neanderthal, Charge Parr, DC Hill point, Neaten Bazaar, New Market, Rearguard Bazaar points, Railway station point, Abdominal, Kodak Toll, Catwalk point, Ala Digit point, Partial point, Bookish Hat, Shah Manta Bridge area, Focused Hat and premises of maximum schools and colleges. No body can reach his/her destination with in the scheduled time due to the random traffic Jams here in Chitchatting. There is no bus stand in the city. As a result, the buses are used to wait at the roads for passengers. There is no taxi and tempo or rider stands.
These vehicles are also used to stand in the road. Besides, there are several lakes of rickshaws without registration which cause the traffic Jam in the city. Chitchatting City Corporation used to give permission for rickshaws. But, there are many rickshaws which have no permission from City Corporation. However, traffic department is not taking any action in this regard. Besides, some officials of CPM have alleged illegal cooperation for not using meters of CNN baby taxies. Sources said, around 60 thousand of trucks and 10 thousand of lorries and container movers use to run from Chitchatting sea port area every day.
Besides, thousands of vehicles including car, buses, taxies, tempos and riders have been running on the roads of Chitchatting. BRAT sources said, several lakes of vehicles are running every day on roads of Chitchatting. But, there are inadequate numbers of roads for running such huge numbers of vehicles. The roads of Chitchatting are not so wide and modern. Besides, Chitchatting is a city of more than half scores of people. On the other hand, traffic department of CPM has no control over the situation. Most of the traffic polices allege that they are doing their duties without any liability. They