Agartala: The governments of India and Bangladesh are likely to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) connecting a new waterway through the Gomati river in Tripura with Meghna in the neighbouring country during the four-day trip of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in New Delhi, said chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb in Agartala on Thursday.
Participating in the flagging-off ceremony of two DEMU trains, Deb said: “Bangladesh Prime Minister is on her four-day-visit to India and she will hold a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. An (MoU) is also likely to be signed between the two countries to connect the Sonamura port in Tripura with Daukandi port in Bangladesh.”
He also said that once the Mou is signed, a new protocol route between Bangladesh and India would be opened connecting river Gomati in Tripura with river Meghna in Bangladesh.
The new protocol route would facilitate for transportation of goods from Ashuganj port on the river Meghna in Brahmanbaria district of Bangladesh to Sonamur in Sipahijala district of Tripura.
“Movement of vessels on River Gomati between India and Bangladesh for providing waterway connectivity to Tripura would be permissible only after inclusion of the Sonamura-Daudkandi stretch as part of the India Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) route,” Deb said.
Earlier on June 20, Deb sought the permission of Union shipping ministry through an official letter for construction of a temporary jetty on Gomati river and declaration of the stretch on the river from Sonamura in Tripura’s Sepahijala district to Daudkandi in Comilla district of Bangladesh as waterway connectivity as part of the ‘Indo-Bangladesh Protocol’ route.
He also said Chittagong port was constructed for better transportation in the entire Eastern region. But due to the partition of the country in 1947, there is no access of us in the port.
“This meeting will bear fruits for Tripura. The state will get the maximum benefit out of it if the access to Chittagong port could be obtained. Not only Tripura, but the entire Northeastern region would be benefited if the access to the port could be achieved,” he added.
Currently, ships and steamers ply from Haldia in West Bengal to Daudkandi in Bangladesh, which is only 80 km from Tripura’s Sonamura sub-division in Sepahijala district.