Chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb receiving the first trial run vessel at Sonamura port Credit: EastMojo Image

Agartala: The Sonamura-Daudkandi inland waterways protocol route became operational on Saturday as the Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb received the first vessel here ar Sonamura port.

The first consignment of 10 tons of cement reached at Sonamura port two days after it started journey from Munshiganj in Bangladesh.

The small vessel in its first trial run started on Thursday, left from Munshiganj through river Meghna in Bangladesh carrying 10 tons of cement from Premier Cement Company of Bangladesh.

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Receiving the barge at Sonamura, Deb claimed the day to be historic for Tripura as for the time the state has connected with Bangladesh through inland waterways. He also congratulated and thanked the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his counterpart in Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina for fulfilling the dream of the Tripura citizens.

“With the success of the trial run the dream of people of Tripura has come true. The work for the dredging will be completed shortly so that the movement of the vessels can be done smoothly. We have discussed the matter with Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka, Riva Ganguli Das,” Deb said.

He also said that after completion of all the works, more than 200 MT goods will reach Tripura via the Gomati river from Bangladesh. He also said that shifting to waterways route will cut short the transportation cost for both the nations.

“The business cost will reduce around 25-30% in waterways. This is a very big achievement for a small state like Tripura. Not only Tripura, but other states from the Northeast will be benefited. This route will be later open till Varanasi,” Deb added.

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Speaking further, Deb said that the work over river Feni in Sabroom is almost complete and once the bridge is complete, the doors for connecting Tripura with Bangladesh Chittagong port will be open.

“Over 90 percent work of Maitree Bridge has been completed. It is only 70 km away from Chittagong port. The reconstruction of the Ramgarh road is also being done with the financial assistance from Indian authorities. One integrated check post (ICP), logistics hub, regular goods station are also being developed to facilitate successful trade of international goods. Sabroom will be the commercial capital of the state,” Deb added.

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Indian High Commissioner, Das said that with the opening of a new route the products from Tripura would go to Bangladesh and import and export between the both nations would strengthen in the coming days.

The Assistant High Commissioner of Bangladesh in Tripura, Kiriti Chakma said that the relation between the two countries (India- Bangladesh) started during the liberation war in 1971 and now it has reached a new height. Bangladesh is always ready to extend its hand of co-operation to India.

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