Agartala, August 5: India has sought Bangladesh’s approval for inclusion of the Sonamura-Daudkandi stretch of Tripura’s Gomati river in the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol route, a waterway connectivity for trade between the two countries.
Union Minister of State for Shipping (independent charge) Mansukh Mandaviya, in a letter to Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on July 26, said the ministry has taken up the issue with the Bangladesh government through the Indian High Commission in Dhaka.
“We have requested the Bangladesh government to accord in-principle approval to include the 15 km Sonamura-Daudkandi stretch of Gomati in the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol route,” he wrote in the letter, which was released to media on Monday.
The minister said he took the decision after examining the matter in consultation with the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and taking a view on the recommendations of the Joint Technical Committee (JTC) of India and Bangladesh.
Of the 15 km of the stretch, around 13 km lies in Bangladesh while the remaining is in Tripura.
Daudkandi is located in Bangladesh’s Comilla district and is only 80 km from Tripura’s Sonamura.
At present, ships ply from West Bengal’s Haldia Port to Daudkandi.
“On receipt of confirmation from Bangladesh, the Sonamura-Daudkandi stretch would be included as part of the IBP route in the second addendum to Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade, which will be signed in the next shipping secretary-level talks between the two countries,” he said. (PTI)