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OTHER BANGLADESHI NEWSPAPER NEWS

Dhaka to survey Bay of Bengal to fix maritime boundary

Bangladesh Dhaka to survey Bay of Bengal to fix maritime boundary

Staff Correspondent

Bangladesh has decided to conduct a seismic survey in the Bay of Bengal to gather data for delineating its maritime boundaries with India and Myanmar.

Dhaka needs the data to submit its claim to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea to settle disputes with its neighbours, the New Age newspaper reported Wednesday.

A Dutch firm will conduct the survey at a cost of Tk 800 million ($11.77 million) and its report would be the basis of the detailed report to be placed to the UN by July 1011.

The government's cabinet committee on economic affairs Tuesday gave a go-ahead to the foreign ministry to conduct the survey, cabinet secretary M. Abdul Aziz announced.

Delineation of maritime boundaries has gained urgency in view of the quest for hydrocarbons by all three countries.

Sandwiched between India and Myanmar, Bangladesh finds inadequate response to its global tenders for oil and gas exploration as foreign firms do not want to get into disputed waters.

Dhaka has frequently protested what it considers intrusion by survey ships from the neighbours, leading to naval stand-offs on two occasions in the recent months.

Bilateral talks on the issue have proved a non-starter.

Dhaka recently awarded three blocks in the bay for exploration to an American and an Irish firm, announcing that it was making sure that the blocks are those where there are no overlapping territorial claims.

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