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Govt flags off cargo vessels from Maia Inland Customs Port

By TIOL News Service

NEW DELHI, FEB 12, 2024: INDIA-Bangladesh relations have evolved across various domains, including political, economic, cultural, and strategic ties over the years. Now, to boost trade and connectivity between India and Bangladesh, the first trial movement of vessels between Maia Port in India and Sultanganj Port in Bangladesh on Indo Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) Route no. 5 & 6 is set to take place on February 12, 2024. The vessels will be flagged off by the Minister of State for Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, Shantanu Thakur, from Maia Inland Customs Port in West Bengal at 10:30 AM. This development is in line with the Act East Policy of the Hon'ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government.

The waterway route from Maia (IBP route) to Dhubri (NW-2) via Aricha will reduce the distance by around 930 kilometers compared to the existing waterway route from Dhulian-Maia-Kolkata-IBP-Dhubri. With this move, 2.6 MTPA of export cargo to Bangladesh is expected to shift from road to waterways.

The riverine distance between Port of Call Maia in India and Port of Call Sultanganj in Bangladesh is 16 kilometers, out of which 4.5 kilometers of waterways are in India and the rest 11.5 kilometers are in Bangladesh.

The flagging-off event will be attended by transport and state transport ministers of the West Bengal government, along with the Member of Parliament from JangipurLok Sabha constituency and Members of the state legislature from Raghunathganj and Lalgola legislative constituencies, as well as other dignitaries.

Background

H.E. Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of the Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, paid a State Visit to India from 05-08 September 2022 at the invitation of Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi. During the visit,the two sides also agreed to expeditiously explore direct shipping links between the two countries. They also agreed to implement the decision to start riverine services under the Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade (PIWTT) routes 5 & 6 (Dhulian to Rajshahi -extension to Aricha) and 9 & 10 (Daudkandi to Sonamura).


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