India has completed earlier than planned cargo transshipment trials to connect its northeastern states to the rest of the country using two major Bangladeshi ports, officials said today.
The fourth and final trial to connect the ports of Chattogram and Mongla to the north eastern states via the India-Bangladesh protocol route ended yesterday (7th November 2022) after a container carrying Assam tea reached the quays of Kolkata via the land and sea ports of Bangladesh, reports our Correspondent in New Delhi.
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The trials were intended to link Bangladesh’s land and sea ports – Mongla, Tamabil, Chattogram, Seola and Bibirbazar – to the northeastern states.
“The trials were expected to be completed by December, but are being completed well ahead of schedule. The initiative will help boost business flow to the northeast on the waterways via the India-Bangladesh protocol route and help reduce the cost of freight,” Syama Port Chairman Prasad Mookherjee (SMP), L Haranadh, said.
The SMP, formerly the Kolkata Port Trust, has been tasked with executing the trials through the protocol route. The decision to conduct the trials was taken at the 13th India-Bangladesh Joint Customs Group meeting held in March.
The trial of Indian cargo to and from West Bengal to northeastern states like Tripura, Assam and Meghalaya has been successfully completed, SMP Deputy Chairman Samrat Rahi said.
India has offered a grant to Bangladesh to support dredging to facilitate the movement of vessels.