NEW DELHI, July 16 - The first trial container ship from Kolkata to Agartala through the Chattogram Port of Bangladesh was flagged off today in a virtual ceremony by Union Minister of State for Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya .
This has been done under an agreement on the use of the Chattogram and Mongla ports for movement of India�s transit cargo through Bangladesh.
Speaking on the occasion, Mandaviya said that the route would provide an alternative and shorter route to connect the North Eastern Region through Bangladesh. This is a historic move to utilise the Chattogram and Mongla ports for transit of Indian cargo, the minister added.
The consignment of the trial ship includes two TEUs of TMT steel bars meant for West Tripura district, and two TEUs of pulses destined for Karimganj district in Assam. After reaching Chattogram, the consignment will move to Agartala on trucks belonging to Bangladesh.
The trial runs come after steps taken by both India and Bangladesh to strengthen connectivity between Bangladesh and the North Eastern States of India, as per the understanding reached between the two countries when the Standard Operating Procedures for the use of Chattogram and Mongla ports for movement of goods to and from India, were concluded. This movement is likely to strengthen the long-standing partnership between India and Bangladesh.
The use of the water route will also reduce the distance and time taken for transportation of goods, which is a win-win situation for the economies of both India and Bangladesh. Job creation, investment in the logistical sector, enhanced business services and revenue generation are advantages that will accrue to Bangladesh. Bangladeshi vessels and trucks will be utilised to move the Indian cargo.