Report on improving connectivity with B'desh

With expectation of improving bilateral ties soaring after Narendra Modi’s Bangladesh visit, city-based Observer Research Foundation has added to the strategic thinking by releasing a report on how to leverage connectivity with the eastern neighbour.

The India-Bangladesh Connectivity Report, the result of a year-long research study by ORF, captures the existing connectivity with Bangladesh and foresees possibilities of improving it.
“The report explores connectivity between India and Bangladesh from four different angles — rail and road connectivity, waterways, energy and border management,” said Rakhahari Chatterji, who spearheaded the research.

Noting that improved connectivity is key to regional security and development, the report said: “Connectivity may provide the transmission channels through which development impulses can spread across the region and can add to the dynamism of economic and social progress in both India as well as in her eastern and south-eastern neighbours.”

Chatterji said West Bengal should be the bridgehead of connectivity with Bangladesh, pointing out that the report comprehensively addresses bilateral issues.

Jadavpur University’s Professor of International Relations Dr A J Majumdar highlighted the need to focus on the existing political context to understand how connectivity could be best achieved.

“An understanding of bilateral links can materialise only through concerted efforts by central and state governments,” he said.

Engaging with stakeholders at different levels must be considered to enhance and streamline interactions across the Indo-Bangladesh border, Chatterji said.

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