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HomeBharat NewsTrial Movement of Vessels: India-Bangladesh Connectivity Boost - Shantanu Thakur

Trial Movement of Vessels: India-Bangladesh Connectivity Boost – Shantanu Thakur

India-Bangladesh relations are poised for a significant leap forward as the first trial movement of vessels between Maia Port in India and Sultanganj Port in Bangladesh on Indo Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) Route no. 5 & 6 is slated for February 12, 2024. Spearheaded by the Minister of State for Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, Shri Shantanu Thakur, this initiative marks a milestone in enhancing trade and connectivity between the two neighboring countries.

The waterway route from Maia (IBP route) to Dhubri (NW-2) via Aricha is expected to revolutionize transportation, reducing the distance by approximately 930 kilometers compared to the existing waterway route from Dhulian-Maia-Kolkata-IBP-Dhubri. With this strategic move, 2.6 MTPA of export cargo to Bangladesh is anticipated to shift from road to waterways, facilitating smoother and more cost-effective trade operations.

The trial movement underscores the significance of leveraging riverine connectivity to foster economic growth and bilateral cooperation. The 16-kilometer riverine distance between Port of Call Maia in India and Port of Call Sultanganj in Bangladesh, with 4.5 kilometers in India and 11.5 kilometers in Bangladesh, holds immense potential for boosting trade and fostering people-to-people exchanges between the two nations.

The flagging-off event will witness the presence of transport and state transport ministers of the West Bengal government, alongside dignitaries including the Member of Parliament from Jangipur Lok Sabha constituency and Members of the state legislature from Raghunathganj and Lalgola legislative constituencies.

This initiative builds upon the foundation laid during the State Visit of H.E. Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, to India in September 2022. During the visit, both nations affirmed their commitment to exploring direct shipping links and implementing riverine services under the Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade routes. The upcoming trial movement signifies a concrete step towards realizing the shared vision of enhanced connectivity and economic prosperity between India and Bangladesh.

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