India-Bangladesh waterway: IWAI team to visit Tripura on 26 December to finalise location for jetty service

Agartala: A high-level team of the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) would visit Tripura on 26 December to conduct a survey and decide on the location for a jetty for a new waterway connecting India and Bangladesh, the state government said Wednesday.

The new India-Bangladesh waterway has been proposed between Ashuganj river port in eastern Bangladesh and Sonamura in Sipahijala district of Tripura through rivers Gomati and Meghna.

Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb met Union Minister Nitin Gadkari at New Delhi on the issue on Tuesday.

Representational image. AFP.

Representational image. AFP.

"It was decided that a high ranking team from IWAI would visit Tripura on 26 and 27 December, 2018, and decide on the location of the jetty/finalize the location of land for the project of inland waters in Gomati river from Tripura to Bangladesh," a government statement said.

Sources in the Chief Ministers Office (CMO) said, Sonamura, which is about 60 km from here, was initially chosen as the location for the jetty and a preliminary survey was also conducted by the state government.

However, it was up to the IWAI officials to decide, they said.

Last month, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb had said a new waterway would come up within six months for movement of container ships between Sonamura and Ashuganj river port.

Once it was completed, goods to the state would directly reach Sonamura town from Bangladesh easily, Deb had told reporters.

The central government would soon start dredging Gomati river on the Indian side for the new waterway to connect Ashuganj port on Meghna river covering about 60 km, he said.

The secretary to the department of shipping of the central government had recently visited the state and inspected the sites. The official had told the state government that dredging of Gomati river and construction of a small river port would be completed in less than six months.

Tripura shares a 856-kilometre border with Bangladesh. Kolkata is 645 kilometres by road via Assam from Agartala and if the new waterway is built, it would ease transportation of goods and the distance would be reduced to half.

India-Bangladesh connectivity would also considerably ease connectivity in the route.

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Updated Date: Dec 19, 2018 18:46 PM

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