Bangladesh’s Minister of State for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury on Wednesday said that the Transit and transhipment of cargo between Northeastern India and Bangladesh using Chittagong port will commence soon.
With access to Chittagong port of Bangladesh, Tripura will become the ‘Gateway of North East’. The port is just 70 kilometres from Sabroom in the northeastern state, he said.
“We are ready for the start of transit and transhipment of goods between Bangladesh and the northeastern region of India through Chittagong. Trial runs were completed and all arrangements for immigration and customs formalities on the Bangladesh side are also ready,” Chowdhury told PTI.
The Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO), required for the movement of cargo from Bangladesh to India, will be issued by the National Board of Revenue.
“This is, however, awaited till now,” said the minister who is here to attend a programme.
The immigration office on the Indian side is almost complete and Tripura Chief Minister Manik Saha recently inspected the site at Sabroom.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina on March 9, 2021, inaugurated the 1.9-km-long Maitree Setu, the ‘friendship bridge’ over the river Feni, connecting Sabroom with Bangladesh. This bridge will facilitate the movement of passengers and goods from Chittagong Port. Once operational, the bridge will help Bangladesh’s trade with Nepal and Bhutan.
The government of Japan will also develop a new deep sea port at Matarbari in Cox’s Bazar near Chittagong port. This new deep sea port will be completed by 2027 and would help the carriage of goods from Bangladesh to Tripura.
The relationship between Japan, Bangladesh and India is cordial and after the completion of the Matarbari port, a huge investment is expected there which will assist in developing Bangladesh and India’s northeastern region, he added.
Chowdhury said Ashuganj port on the river Meghna, about 50 km from Tripura capital Agartala will be jointly revamped by the governments of India and Bangladesh.
“Recently we have procured land for developing the port. For developing infrastructure like construction of jetty and other works, the Indian government has agreed to spend Rs 400 crore and after it releases the money, full-scale works would be started”, he said.