First trial run successful: Tripura gets access of Bangladesh’s Mongla port
Ministers of both Tripura and Bangladesh at the formal reception of cargo containers

Agartala: In a significant development in Tripura’s connectivity sector, the state on Tuesday accomplished the first trial run of transit cargo from Mongla port in Bangladesh as part of the bilateral agreement between India and Bangladesh on the use of Chattogram and Mongla ports for transporting essentials.

On Tuesday, the first transit cargo reached Tripura’s Srimantapur land port located in Sepahijala district that was trans-loaded from Bangladesh Mongla port about 300 kilometres by road. The goods transported to Tripura are set to leave for Assam and other North Eastern states, Union Minister of state Social Justice and Empowerment Pratima Bhoumik said.

The consignment reached the Mongla Port from Kolkata through waterways and finally, it reached its destination in Tripura via Bibirbazar in Bangladesh. The shipment started its journey on August 5.

This is the second trial run as per the agreement as the first trial run was done using the Chattogram post in July 2020. For Tripura, this is the first consignment that reached here through Mongla port.

Bhoumik along with Industries and Commerce Minister Santana Chakma remained present on the occasion to receive the consignment. Assistant High Commissioner of India Dr Rajeev Ranjan posted at Chittagong and Bangladesh Assistant High Commissioner Arif Mohammad were also present at the formal reception of the cargo containers.

Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister Pratima Bhoumik said, “After 2009, relations between India and Bangladesh improved substantially and with time, it is scaling new heights. It’s a fact that we are separated by borders but the social and cultural bond that the people of Tripura and Bangladesh shared for many decades has proved that we are one. Religion, caste, creed etc can’t separate us from each other.”

Bhoumik also urged the Bangladesh authorities to help India get some approvals which will help Tripura in giving a fillip to the bordering infrastructure.

She said, “After Wagah, Akhaura Check Post here in Agartala is the second in India where beating retreat is a daily feature. A good proposal to develop this site has already been approved by the Central government but due to some objections flagged by the Bangladesh authorities, the project could not reach the level of execution.

Similarly, some road infrastructure on the Bangladesh side needs to be revamped for seamless transport of goods between both countries. I hope the Bangladesh authorities will soon look into the issues and accordingly things will be sorted out”.  

The Union Minister also told the gathering that the Tripura government is keen to host the “Mukti Juddho (Liberation War)” festival at Sonamura to participate in the victory celebrations to be held in December.

“Prime Minister Modi ji has instructed me to make sure that people of Tripura should participate in the month of victory celebrations of neighbouring Bangladesh in a festive spirit. Celebrations do take place here in our state but not in an organized manner. This year, we are planning to host the Bijoy Utsav (Victory Celebrations) across the state keeping bordering towns like Sonamura and Melaghar in the centre of the celebrations. These towns are historically connected with Bangladesh’s freedom movement so the central functions should be organized here”, said Bhoumik.

She also appealed to the people of Sonamura and Melaghar to protect the bordering infrastructures and help traders in whichever way they can. Industries and Commerce Minister Santana Chakma in her short address said that the government of Tripura is accountable for what it promises to the masses.

“A lot of people are there who make tall promises and vanish. Our government is accountable to its people. What we say, we do it”, said Chakma.

On being contacted, Manager Akhaura Integrated Check Post Debasish Nandi said six metric tons of goods reached Tripura.

“Following all protocols, good laden containers reached the borders and all the items were transloaded to our containers. Some of them are leaving for Assam on Wednesday,” he said.    

Later in a Facebook post, Bhowmik described this development as the first step for Tripura towards becoming the centre of trade and commerce in the North East. 

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