India and Bangladesh Sign Agreements for Enhancing Inland and Coastal Waterways Connectivity

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: IR | India & its neighborhood- relations

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Port of call, Name of ports mentioned in newscard

Mains level: How Bangladesh can be used a gateway to northeast India


News

Enhancing connectivity between India-Bangladesh

  1. India and Bangladesh signed several milestone agreements for enhancing inland and coastal waterways connectivity between the two countries for trade and cruise movements
  2. The two countries have signed an agreement to use Chattogram and Mongla Ports in Bangladesh for movement of goods to and from India
  3. A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) has also been signed for movement of passenger and cruise services
  4. An addendum to ‘Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade’ (PIWTT) between India and Bangladesh has been signed for inclusion of Dhubriin India and Pangaonin Bangladesh as new Ports of Call
  5. These agreements will facilitate easier   movement of goods and passengers between the two countries, giving an impetus to trade and tourism

Agreements for the port of call

  1. The two sides agreed to consider inclusion of Rupnarayanriver (National Waterway-86) from Geonkhali to Kolaghat in the protocol route and to declare Kolaghatin West Bengal as new Port of Call
  2. Chilmari was agreed to as a port of call in Bangladesh
  3. The new arrangement will facilitate the movement of fly ash, cement, construction materials etc from India to Bangladesh through IWT on Rupnarayanriver
  4. Both sides agreed to declare Badarpur on river Barak (NW 16) as an Extended Port of Call of Karimganj in Assam and Ghorasal of Ashuganj  in Bangladesh on a reciprocal basis
  5. The North Eastern states would get connected to directly to the ports of Kolkata and Haldia in India and Mongla in Bangladesh through waterways which would facilitate movement EXIM cargo and would also reduce the logistic costs

River cruises

  1. In another important understanding reached at between the two countries, the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for movement of passengers and cruise vessels on Inland Protocol route and coastal shipping routes have been finalised
  2. These river cruise services are likely to commence between Kolkata – Dhaka – Guwahati – Jorhat and back

Reducing distance of Assam

  1. It was also agreed that a Joint Technical Committee will explore the technical feasibility of operationalisation of Dhulian-Rajshahi protocol route up to Aricha
  2. The reconstruction and opening up of Jangipur navigational lock on river Bhagirathi subject to the provisions of the Treaty between India and Bangladesh on Sharing of Ganga Waters at Farakka,1996
  3. This move has the potential to reduce the distance to Assam by more than 450 kms on the protocol routes
  4. Both sides have also agreed for development of Jogighopa as a hub/trans-shipment terminal for movement of cargo to Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Bhutan and notifying Munsiganj River terminal by Bangladesh Customs for routing third party Exim cargo through Kolkata Port
Foreign Policy Watch: India-Bangladesh
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