Bangladesh and India are now at the final stage of operationalisation of the agreement to use Chattogram and Mongla ports for transit of goods to and from India, reports news agency UNB.
The agreement was signed between Bangladesh and India in 2018.
Following completion of trial runs, necessary permanent standing order or notification would now be issued by the government of Bangladesh for the operationalisation and regular movement of goods under this agreement, officials said.
This is a “step forward” in realising the commitment reiterated at the level of the two prime ministers during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India in September 2022.
A vessel named ‘M/V Trans Samudera’ departed Chattogram port on Wednesday, carrying Indian transit container that was transported from the northeastern Indian state Meghalaya via Bangladesh.
This movement of cargo is part of the trial run being undertaken for the operationalisation of the agreement.
The trial run is being undertaken by Tata Steel and CJ Darcl Logistics Ltd. on the Dawki–Tamabil–Chattogram route, said the Indian High Commission in Dhaka.
There are eight approved routes for transit of goods under the agreement, namely, Chattogram/Mongla Port to Agartala via Akhaura, Chattogram/Mongla Port to Dawki via Tamabil, Chattogram/Mongla Port to Sutarkandi via Sheola, Chattogram/Mongla Port to Srimantapur via Bibirbazar and vice versa on all four routes.
During the visit of Prime Minister of Bangladesh to India in 2019, an SOP was signed to operationalise the agreement.
The first trial movement under this agreement on the Chattogram-Akhaura-Agartala route was successfully conducted in July 2020, when four containers, two each of TMT steel and pulses, were delivered at ICP Agartala from Kolkata through Chattogram, said the High Commission.
The transit or transhipment of goods under this agreement will reduce both cost and time for transport of goods to north-eastern states of India.
It will also create economic gains for the Bangladesh logistics and services industry (insurance, transport and finance industry etc.) as only Bangladeshi trucks will be used for transhipment, said the Indian side.
The latest trial for transit of Indian goods marks the completion of all trial runs on all approved routes under the agreement between Bangladesh and India.