First trial run on newly-opened inland waterways from Daudkandi in Bangladesh to Sonamura in India completed successfully
The trial run of the newly opened inland river route from Daudkandi in Bangladesh to Sonamura in Tripura was successfully completed on Saturday.
The newly opened 93 kilometers long route on the river Gumti marks another major step in enhancing connectivity between India and Bangladesh.
Land Customs Station (LCS) at Srimantpur was also handed over to the Land Port Authority of India (LPAI) to facilitate trade through this border point on Saturday.
Chief Minister of Tripura Biplob Kumar Deb and High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das were present on the occasion to receive the vessel at Sonamura in Tripura which carried 50 metric tonnes of cement from Bangladesh to India.
Speaking on the occasion Chief Minister Biplab Deb said that opening up of the new route on river Gumati will help reduce cost in the trade between two countries. He highlighted the importance of integrated development projects including roads, ports, bridges and waterways in creating multiple benefits.
High Commissioner Riva Ganguly Das spoke about the growing connectivity between the two countries. She said that geographical proximity is a great advantage which should be leveraged for mutual benefit.
She said the operationalization of the Sonamura-Daudkandi route on river Gumti would reduce the cost of trade between the two countries. She urged the business community to seize the opportunity of enhanced trade offered by the increased connectivity and deepen existing synergies between India and Bangladesh.
Riva Ganguly Das informed that two new border haats at Kamalpur and Palbasti are under construction. They are likely to be ready very soon. She said that 2 additional sites for new border haats at Belchamar and at Ghoshkamar at Belonia in Tripura have also been identified.
Identifying some key projects in Bangladesh being carried out under the Indian Line of Credit (LoC), High Commissioner Riva Ganguly Das said that an Inland Container Port (ICP) is being set up at Ashuganj, and the existing road between Akhaura Land Port and Ashuganj is being widened to 4 lanes. She said India is also constructing a new rail link between Akhaura and Agartala and a friendship bridge over river Feni connecting Sabroom to Ramgarh in Bangladesh under grant funding. These two projects are likely to be completed by March 2021 and December 2020 respectively.
Citing examples of cooperation between India and Bangladesh she said that the first trial run based on the agreement on the use of Chattogram and Mongla Ports for movement of India’s transit cargo through Bangladesh was carried out in July. It delivered Cargo from Kolkata to Agartala using the Chattogram port.