Bangladesh-Tripura new water connectivity

First ship to sail Sept 5

The relations between Bangladesh and India are likely to see a new phase with the launching of a new water route between Bangladesh and Tripura on September 5.

As part of the new river communication system, a ship carrying cement will cross the border from Daudkandi in Cumilla via Bibirbazar in the same district via the Gumti River. The goods will be unloaded later in Sonamura area of Tripura's Sipaijla district. This is an experimental invoice. 

Muhammad Rafiqul Islam, Director (Traffic & Security Management) of the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA), said, “The ship named MV Premier will leave Daudkandi on Friday, September 4 with 50 tons of cement or 1,000 bags of Premier brand cement, and cross the Bibirbazar border on September 5.” 

“Earlier on 24 August, the BIWTA approved the export of goods on a trial basis through the new waterway”, said the BIWTA Director. 

According to sources, the distance from Daudkandi to Muradnagar, Devidwar, Brahmanpara, Burichang, Cumilla Sadar via Bibirbazar border and Sonamura in Tripura is 92 km. From Sonamura the consignment will go to Agartala, the capital of Tripura, by road.

BIWTA Director Muhammad Rafiqul Islam also said that a function in the government level will be held at Sonamura port to formally accept the consignment. Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb will remain present at the function to receive the consignment. On the other hand, senior BIWTA officials will officially hand over the consignment from Bibirbazar in Cumilla to Indian officials.

Meanwhile, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb thanked Bangladesh for extending cooperation in this regard.

Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb through his verified facebook page said, “Trial Run of Ship is to be conducted in first week of September. Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority has given permission for trial run of voyage from Daundkandi (Cumilla) to Sonamura via river Gumti.”

He said, “The trial run is scheduled in first week of September, during which 50 MT cement will be transported in barge from Dhaka to Sonamura. This is for the first time in history that any kind of goods will be reaching Tripura by ship.”

“I would like to thank Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji, Shipping Minister, Shri Mansukh Mandavia ji & Govt of Bangladesh for extending kind cooperation,” he added.

This transportation system is a part of the newly added Protocol for Inland Water Trade & Transit (PIWT&T) route 9 & 10. This operationalisation of the new protocol route will help in strengthening bilateral trade and the improved reliability and cost-effectiveness is expected to help the people and business community of both countries.