• Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Border officials in dark about transhipment of Indian rice

Sheikh Md Shahidul Islam, Brahmanbaria

The first phase of the 10,000 tonnes of rice that are due for transhipment to the Indian state of Tripura have arrived in Bangladesh from West Bengal but the relevant offices are yet to be notified of the shipment.

Import-laden vessels entering the country have to pass through inspections and pay charges before the goods can leave the customs-bonded area.

But the Akhaura land port authorities are yet to receive any directive on the fees or any other rules regarding the Indian rice shipment, said Abul Kalam Bhuiyan, acting assistant director of the port.

Some 5,000 tonnes of rice have arrived near the Ashuganj River Port in Bangladesh through Meghna river for transhipment to Tripura, the Indian state on Bangladesh's eastern border, said Md Shah Alam, traffic inspector of the river port.

All vehicles are open to inspection upon entering Bangladesh, but the border officials are in the dark about the validity of the jurisdiction on vehicles carrying Indian rice, said Md Abu Sayed, nayek subedar of Akhaura International BGB Check Post.

After completing the official procedure within a day, the Indian rice will be taken to the other side of the country in Bangladeshi covered vans directly, according to Ashuganj river port sources.

At least 1,000 vehicles will carry the Indian rice over Bangladeshi highways and impact the road's condition, said Md Babul Sarker, president of Ashuganj Poribahan Samiti.

Gulf Orient Seaways, an internationally operating shipping company based in Bangladesh, has been contracted to transport the rice from West Bengal to Tripura.

Earlier in 2012, the Indian government used the same routes to transport light and heavy equipment and machinery for the Palatan Power Station in south-eastern Tripura under another MOU with the Bangladeshi government.

Published: 12:00 am Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Last modified: 1:02 am Wednesday, August 06, 2014

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