Agartala: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has expressed a "very positive" attitude to Indian proposals of allowing Ashuganj River Port of her country as a port of call and introduction of Agartala-Kolkata direct bus service via Dhaka, a Tripura minister has said.
State Industries and commerce minister Tapan Chakraborty along with an Indian delegation headed by MoS for Development of North Eastern Region VK Singh met Hasina during an Indo-Bangladesh business conclave on August 23 last and put forward seven proposals for connectivity, which also included access to Chittagong port, among others.
"Sheikh Hasina expressed a very positive attitude towards our proposal and said Bangladesh had decided to allow other countries to use ports for mutual interests. India had stressed for better connectivity through the neighbouring country for the people living in the north eastern states of the country," Chakraborty told reporters last evening.
Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma was also in the Indian delegation, he said.
Recently 5,000 metric tonnes of foodgrains were ferried from Kakinada port in Andhra Pradesh to the Tripura capital via Kolkata and Ashuganj ports, Tripura Transport minister Manik De had said.
The distance between Ashuganj port in Brahman district of Bangladesh and Agartala is only 37 km and the foodgrains were transported from there by Bangladesh trucks up to the food godowns at Nandannagar here, De had said.
Chakraborty said, he had brought to the notice of the Bangladesh Prime Minister the necessity of better infrastructure like constructions of godown near the port and improvement of the road condition from the port to Akhaura check post near the Indo-Bangla border.
Work for constructing a bridge on the river Feni in Sabromm subdivision of South Tripura district would be started soon to connect Sabroom and Ramgarh in Chittagong, he said.
"After the completion of the bridge, the distance between the Chittagong port and Sabroom would be reduced to just 75 km and then Tripura would become the gateway to the North East," he added.
The minister also requested the Bangladesh Prime Minister to expedite survey works on her side for laying railway tracks to Connect Akhaura and Agartala.
The Indian railway has completed their survey work on the Indian side, NF railway sources said.
Of the 15 km long proposed tracks, 10 km falls in Bangladesh.