India concludes trans-shipment trial runs using Bangladeshi ports
India has completed ahead of schedule the trial runs for trans-shipment of cargo to connect its north eastern states with the rest of the country using two major Bangladeshi ports, officials said today.
The fourth and final trial run to connect Chattogram and Mongla ports to north eastern states via India-Bangladesh Protocol Route concluded yesterday (November 7, 2022) after a container carrying tea from Assam reached Kolkata docks via land and sea ports of Bangladesh, reports our New Delhi correspondent.
The trial runs were aimed at connecting Bangladesh's land and sea ports -- Mongla, Tamabil, Chattogram, Seola and Bibirbazar -- with north eastern states.
"The trials were supposed to be completed by December but it is completed well ahead of schedule. The initiative will help boost business flow to the northeast on inland waterways via the India-Bangladesh Protocol Route and help reduce the cost of freight," Chairman of Syama Prasad Mookherjee Port (SMP), L Haranadh, said.
The SMP, formerly the Kolkata Port Trust, was entrusted with executing the trial runs via the protocol route. The decision to conduct these trials was taken at the 13th India-Bangladesh Joint Group of Customs meeting held in March.
The trial run of Indian cargo to and from West Bengal to north eastern states like Tripura, Assam, and Meghalaya was successfully carried out, SMP Deputy Chairman Samrat Rahi said.
India has offered a grant to Bangladesh to support dredging to smoothen the movement of vessels.