Source: The Assam Tribune
Date: 10, Thursday, July
With the change of guard in neighbouring Bangladesh, it is now considering allowing Northeast India to use Chittagong Port, a longstanding demand, said Abdul Matlab Ahmed, president of Indo-Bangla Chamber of Commerce here.
The Awami League Government has agreed on principle to allow Northeast India to use Chittagong Port for transhipment purpose, he said at a press conference here shortly before leaving for Dhaka after attending the third meeting of Indo-Bangla Task Force.
The Bangladeshi sea port is likely to be opened for India by end of 2010 even as a final decision in this regard is yet to be taken at the highest level, said Ahmed. However, he was of view that focus should be given on transhipment or logistic support to pave the way for faster growth of bilateral trade.
“The facilities like transit or corridor have been over-politicalised over the past few years. Let’s move for transhipment or logistic for mutual benefit”, he said.
Ahmed said as the transhipment or logistic support exists, there is no need to make any change in the laws to carry goods inside Bangladesh territory.
Ahmed further stressed on using port Sheerpur as port on call for faster and larger movement of goods. The Sheerpur Port, around 100 km from Agartala has already been declared as port on call but has not been used so far by Tripura.
On being asked about the outcome of the Task Force meeting, Ahmed said that a joint team would visit Sheerpur port and Ashuganj Port within next one month to explore feasibility of using the port.
It may be recalled that another sea port – Ashugang, 45 km from Agartala is yet to be notified as port on call. Tripura Government has been demanding Ashuganj be declared as port of call.
Ahmed said that Bangladesh wants to import power from Tripura. The issue was discussed in the Task Force meeting but could not be settled, he said.