First private consignment reaches Tripura via BangladeshSeptember 29th, 2011 - 3:40 pm ICT by IANS
Agartala, Sep 29 (IANS) The first private goods consignment via Bangladesh Thursday reached Tripura from Kolkata although Dhaka is yet to sign a full-fledged treaty with New Delhi on transit facility.
“This is the first private consignment reaching the mountainous northeast region from other parts of India using the Bangladeshi territory and infrastructure (in transit),” an Indian customs official told IANS.
“Over 305 tonnes of steel consignment reached Ashuganj river port on Meghna river in eastern Bangladesh from Kolkata’s Haldia port through the riverine route earlier this week. From Ashuganj river port, the cargo was transhipped to Tripura in four trucks via Akhaura border adjacent to Tripura capital city,” the official said.
The Tripura government has welcomed the development and thanked the Bangladesh government for allowing trans-shipment of Indian goods via their territory.
“The steel consignment was transported via Bangladesh using Ashuganj port for carrying over-dimensional goods under existing Indo-Bangla trade agreement,” Tripura Industries and Commerce Minister Jitendra Chowdhury told IANS.
Surface connectivity is an important factor as the mountainous northeastern states are surrounded by Bangladesh, Myanmar, Bhutan and China and the only land route to these states from within India is through Assam and West Bengal. But this route passes through hilly terrain with steep roads and sharp bends.
For ferrying goods and heavy machinery from abroad and other parts of the country, India has for long been demanding land, ports and rail access to the northeast through Bangladesh, which shares a 4,095-km border with India.
Agartala, for instance, is 1,650 km from Kolkata and 2,637 km from New Delhi via Guwahati and West Bengal, whereas the distance between the Tripura capital and Kolkata via Bangladesh is just about 350 km.
“If Bangladesh government provides transit facilities and allows India to use its ports, roads and rail, they would also be immensely benefiting in terms of revenue and duty,” the Tripura minister said.
India had developed a jetty at the Ashuganj river port, 45 km from here, widened the roads in Bangladesh and developed around 25 bypasses across the border and inside Tripura to ferry heavy equipment for the power project, being commissioned in south Tripura’s Palatana, 60 km south of here.
(Sujit Chakraborty can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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Tags: agartala, bangladesh government, commerce minister, country india, eastern bangladesh, haldia port, hilly terrain, indian customs, jitendra, land ports, meghna river, northeastern states, private goods, sharp bends, steep roads, trans shipment, transit facilities, transit facility, tripura government, west bengal