Economy
As shipment reaches Tripura via Chittagong port, Delhi hopes of bolstering Indo-Bangla bond

Just Earth News | @justearthnews | 26 Jul 2020 Print

As shipment reaches Tripura via Chittagong port, Delhi hopes of bolstering Indo-Bangla bond

Screengrab

Delhi: Diplomats in Delhi are chuffed after Tripura received its first shipment that reached them from Kolkata via the Chittagong port in Bangladesh. The development, which took place on Thursday (July 23), is said to revive a historic route that was overlooked for nearly a century.

The consignment was carried to the Chittagong port from Kolkata by Bangladeshi ship MV Shejyoti.

"50 MT TMT steel bars and 53.22 MT pulses (in two containers each) left Kolkata’s Haldia port on July 16 and reached Chattogram (Chittagong) sea port on Tuesday," reported Northeast Now.

The occasion was so special that the consignment- carried by four Bangladeshi trucks from the port to Akhaura Integrated Checkpost (ICP)- was received by Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb.

The new route is not only expected to bolster Indo-Bangladesh relationship, which is vital for Delhi to keep up with Beijing, but will also reduce the time taken for consignment to reach northeastern Indian states by half.

"This will reduce the distance, time and the cost of logistics for transporting goods and is a win-win situation for both the economies," Strategic News Global quoted a diplomat in Delhi as saying.

Happy with the trial run, India said it will strengthen the India-Bangladesh maritime and economic partnership and will 'enhance business services and revenue generation in Bangladesh'.

The route was used after the two neighbours inked a pact to transport goods using Bangladesh's space- a move that is cost effective, apart from saving time.

"Agartala via Guwahati is 1,650 km from Kolkata by road, and 2,637 km from New Delhi while the distance between Agartala and Kolkata via Bangladesh is just 620 km," said the Northeast Now report.

An Economic Times analysis states: "Access to Chittagong and Mongla seaports in Bangladesh are critical to opening shorter and alternative routes to connect the Northeast region with the rest of India."

The outlet quoted Selima Ahmad, Member of Parliament of Bangladesh and President, Bangladesh Women Chambers of Commerce and Industry, as saying, “Connectivity is increasingly becoming one of the most important tools to reduce poverty and maintain stability in the sub-region. In doing so, we need to manage vested interests who pose challenges to the grassroots needs and the larger political will.”

Experts believe the new development will help Bangladeshi cities like Cumilla, Tamabil and Akhaura to undergo economic transformation. Other changes like a boost in the logistics sector is expected.