Monday, 5 September 2011

Tin Bigha Corridor

The Tin Bigha Corridor is a strip of land formerly belonging to India on the West Bengal- Bangladesh border which has been leased indefinitely to Bangladesh so that it can access its Dahagram–Angarpota enclaves.There is ongoing dispute regarding use of this land by anti-India forces and illegal immigrants to cross over into India which Bangladesh vehemently denies. This Corridor was opened to Bangladesh for transit only in 1992.1 Presently the corridor is controlled by the BSF and a 12-hour access is allowed. In the forthcoming visit of PM Singh to Bangladesh an agreement on 24-hr access to the corridor is to be signed.
The issue of exchanging enclaves has been discussed since independence. In 1958, there was an official agreement to exchange all of the enclaves in the Nehru-Noon Accords, though deteriorating relations between East Pakistan and India and a series of court cases in India prevented this from being implemented. Another attempt to resolve the enclave issue was mounted in 1974 under the Indira-Mujib Accords. The accords make specific provisions to exchange all of the enclaves with the exception of AGDH and Berubari Union, a disputed area along the border with Jalpaiguri. As the Accords have it: "India will retain the southern half of South Berubari Union No.12 … in exchange Bangladesh will retain the Dahagram and Angarpota enclaves. India will lease in perpetuity to Bangladesh an area … to connect Dahagram with … Bangladesh."

This agreement, too, remains only partially fulfilled. While Bangladesh ceded South Berubari shortly after the agreement was signed, the corridor only opened 18 years later. There is hope that in the forthcoming visit of PM Singh this issue too will be resolved.2

FYI: A comprehensive article on Tin Bigha Corridor, its politics, the problems of the enclaves and special position of the Angarpota-Dahagram enclave can be read at


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