Cargo Movement Between North East And Chittagong Port To Start Soon: Bangladesh Minister

The Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO), required for the movement of cargo from Bangladesh to India, will be issued by the National Board of Revenue
A Cargo Ship Carrying Goods
A Cargo Ship Carrying Goods

Transit and transhipment of cargo between Northeastern India and Bangladesh using Chittagong port will start soon, the neighbouring country's Minister of State for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury said here on Wednesday. Tripura is set to become the 'Gateway of North East' with access to Chittagong port of Bangladesh, which 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. A 1.9-km-long Maitree Setu, the ‘friendship bridge’ over the river Feni, connecting Sabroom with Bangladesh, was jointly inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina on March 9, 2021. This will facilitate movement of passengers and goods from Chittagong Port.

After the bridge is made operational, it will also help Bangladesh's trade with Nepal and Bhutan, Chowdhury said. The Bangladesh minister said a new deep sea port is also being developed by the government of Japan at Matarbari in Cox’s Bazar near  Chittagong port and this would be completed by 2027. This too 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.

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