Faster grain transport to northeast on cards as Bangladesh agrees to open shorter river route
The arrangement, sources said, is worked out under the Indo-Bangladesh protocol which envisages carrying grain or other items between the two countries. Recently, Dhaka had allowed state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) land access to transport machinery for the Palatana mega power project in southern Tripura using the Ashuganj port.
North-eastern states are not self-sufficient in grain like rice and wheat and depend on supplies from Punjab, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
During monsoon, transport is even tougher due to floods and landslides. Connectivity through rivers Ganga (on Indian side) and Padma (Bangladesh) is expected to help north-eastern regions get grain on time.
For transporting goods, essentials and heavy machinery from abroad and other parts of the country to the northeast, India has been demanding land, sea and rail access through Bangladesh, with which India shares a 4,000-km border.
During prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to New Delhi two years ago, India and Bangladesh agreed to amend the bilateral Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade to declare Ashuganj in Bangladesh and Silghat in India as ports of call.
Last month, Bangladesh’s agriculture minister Begum Matia Chowdhury met her Indian counterpart Sharad Pawar in New Delhi and discussed the transport of grain.
Be the first to comment.