New Delhi, Jul 12 : For the first time ever, an Indian waterway is being used as a channel for transport of cargo between Bhutan and Bangladesh using India for transit.
Minister of State for Shipping (Independent Charge) Mansukh Mandaviya on Friday digitally flagged-off a ship of the Inland Waterways Authority of India, carrying stone from Bhutan to be delivered in Bangladesh. Mr Mandaviya said this new development will not only strengthen our ties with our neighbouring countries, but will also open up an alternate route to our North Eastern states, making it easier and cheaper to reach goods to these places from other parts of the country.
The ship - MV AAI - has set sail from Dhubri in Assam and will travel to Narayanganj in Bangladesh, over river Brahmaputra and the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route. This is the first time an Indian waterway is being used as a channel for transport of cargo between the two countries, using India for transit.
The stone aggregates were transported by trucks from Phuentsholing in Bhutan which is 160 KMs from IWAI’s Dhubri jetty in Assam. Till now, Bhutan has been exporting significant quantity of stone aggregates to Bangladesh through the land route, an official statement here said. The ship is carrying 1000 MT of stones – 70 trucks would be required to transport the same cargo by road.
Mr Mandaviya said the development is a historic one, taking ahead the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to promote cargo transportation through inland waterways, adding that the move will be beneficial to India as well as Bhutan and Bangladesh, and strengthen relations between the neighbouring countries.
The Minister said transport of cargo through this route will cut short travel time by eight to ten days, and reduce transportation cost by 30 per cent, bringing down logistics costs. It will also be a more environment friendly mode of transport. (UNI)