This would be the first ever export consignment from Bangladesh to Tripura through the inland waterways

Relations between India and Bangladesh reached another milestone on Thursday following the operationalization of the Daukandi (Bangladesh) – Sonamura (Tripura) Inland Waterway Protocol route.

Bangladeshi vessel, MB Premier carrying cement started from Daukandi on September 3 and will reach Sonamura on September 5 traversing 93-km along the river Gumti.

This would be the first ever export consignment from Bangladesh to Tripura through the inland waterways.

The cargo would be received at Sonamura in the presence of the Chief Minister of Tripura Biplab Kumar Deb and India’s High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Riva Ganguly Das.

The operationalization of this new protocol route, besides further facilitating overall bilateral trade with Bangladesh, will provide an economical, faster, safer and environment friendly mode of transport and will result in substantial economic benefits to local communities on both sides.

The Protocol for Inland Water Trade & Transit (PIWTT) was signed between India and Bangladesh in 1972 to provide inland waterways connectivity between the two countries, particularly with the North Eastern Region of India and also to enhance bilateral trade.

In the last one year, approx. 3.5 MMT of cargo was transported between India and Bangladesh on the protocol routes. The scope of PIWTT has been further expanded by the signing of the 2nd Addendum to PIWTT on May 20, 2020 with the inclusion of additional routes and ports of calls.

The inclusion of Sonamura - Daudkandi stretch of Gumti river (93 km) as a new route in the Protocol will improve the connectivity of Tripura and the adjoining States with Indian and Bangladesh’s economic centers and will help the hinterland of both the countries.

In the recent weeks, this will be yet another major milestone in India’s connectivity programme with Bangladesh.

“We should recall that a few weeks back we successfully concluded a trial run of container cargo from Kolkata to Agartala through Chattogram port. This initiative will greatly boost our connectivity with the north-east region and also boost bilateral trade with Bangladesh,” the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said.