File photo: Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina. Photograph:( ANI )
Union Minister of State Shipping (Independent charge) Mansukh Mandaviya called the development an outcome of PM Modi's 'successful foreign policy'.
Goods from India's northeast can now be transported through Bangladeshi territory providing a major boost to connectivity and cutting down the cost and time of travel.
Under the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) signed between Bangladesh and India during PM Sheikh Hasina's India visit, Dhaka has allowed a couple of its major ports - the Chattogram and Mongla Ports - for the movement of goods to and from India through its territory.
Calling the development an outcome of PM Modi's "successful foreign policy", Union Minister of State Shipping (Independent charge) Mansukh Mandaviya said, "shorter distance and coastal shipping benefits will make northeast states' products competitive in the market."
The agreement allows the use of Bangladeshi waterways, rail, road and other means of transport. Eight routes have been provided under the agreement and will connect landlocked Tripura, Assam and Meghalaya.
These routes are Chattogram/Mongla Port to Agartala in Tripura via Akhura in Bangladesh; Chattogram/Mongla Port to Dawki in Meghalaya via Tamabil in Bangladesh; Chattogram/Mongla Port to Sutarkandi (Assam) via Sheola in Bangladesh and Chattogram/Mongla Port to Srimantpur in Tripura via Bibirbazar in Bangladesh.
Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura will be directly connected to the sea via Chattogram and Mongla ports and by consequence other Indian ports.
Distance between Kolkata and Agartala by road is 2,000 kilometres, this will reduce to just 810 kilometres since the port of Chattogram is 600 kilometres and the port is 201 kilometres away from Agartala. The second busiest port of Bangladesh, Mongla port is even closer to Kolkata.