NEW DELHI: 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 who met PM Modi over the weekend, Dhaka has allowed 2 of its major ports--the Chattogram and Mongla Ports for 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 NE states' products competitive in the market. "
The agreement allows use if Bangladeshi waterways, rail, road and other means of transport. 8 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 2000km, this will reduce to just 810 km since the port of Chattogram is 600 km and the port is 201 km away from Agartala. The second busiest port of Bangladesh, Mongla port is even closer to Kolkata.