New riverine trade route connecting India, Bangladesh launched: MEA

MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava

New Delhi (NVI): The trial run of a new riverine trade route between India and Bangladesh has commenced from Daukandi in the neighboring country and would conclude at Sonamura in Tripura on September 5 (Saturday), the Ministry of External Affairs said today.

While addressing the weekly media briefing here, MEA Spokesman Anurag Srivastava said that the trial run of the new trade route via Gomati river was launched in the presence of Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb and India’s High Commissioner to Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das.

“This is yet another recent connectivity initiative with Bangladesh, which will greatly enhance connectivity with our North Eastern region and boost bilateral trade with Bangladesh,” Srivastava said.

He added that enhanced connectivity through inland waterways in the present Covid–19 scenario will provide an economical, faster, safer and cleaner mode of transportation for traders and business communities of both countries.

With the signing the 2nd addendum to PIWTT in May 2020, two new protocol routes have been added. Of particular significance is the Sonamura – Daukandi route as it connects Tripura with the National Waterways of India through Bangladesh for the first time, according to MEA.

The Protocol for Inland Water Trade & Transit (PIWTT) was signed between India and Bangladesh in 1972 to provide inland waterways connectivity between the two countries.

This facilitates bilateral trade as well improves connectivity to the North Eastern Region of India. In 2019-2020, approx. 3.5 million MT of cargo was transported between India and Bangladesh on the protocol routes, the MEA spokesperson informed.