Five more ports of call and two water routes added
The second addendum on Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade between Bangladesh and India was signed on Wednesday morning at the Secretariat.
Five more ports of call and two Indo Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) water routes were added in the protocol.
Riva Ganguly Das, High Commissioner of India in Bangladesh on behalf of the Republic of India, and Mohammed Mezbah Uddin Chowdhury, Secretary of Ministry of Shipping, on behalf of People’s Republic of Bangladesh, signed the addendum.
The Protocol was first signed in 1972, immediately after the independence of Bangladesh. It was last renewed in 2015 for five years, with a provision of automatic renewal for a further period of five years, providing long term assurance to various stakeholders.
Two new routes
The number of Indo Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) routes has been increased from 8 to 10. New locations have also been added to existing routes.
Inclusion of the Sonamura- Daudkandi stretch of Gumti river (93 km) as IBP route numbers 9 and 10 in the Protocol will improve the connectivity of Tripura and adjoining states with the economic centers of Bangladesh and India, and will help the hinterland of both the countries.
Five more ports of call
Under the current protocol, there are six ports of call in each of India and Bangladesh. They are Kolkata, Haldia, Karimganj, Pandu, Shilghat, and Dhubri on the Indian side; Narayanganj, Khulna, Mongla, Sirajganj, Ashuganj, and Pangaon on the Bangladeshi side.
The five newly added ports of call on the Indian side are: Dhulian, Maia, Kolaghat, Sonamura, and Jogigopha; on Bangladesh side are the new ports are Rajshahi, Sultanganj, Chilmari, Daudkandi, and Bahadurabad.
A further two additional ports of call – Tribeli ( Bandel) and Badarpur on the Indian side, and Ghorasal and Muktarpur on the Bangladeshi side – have been added through this addendum, increasing the total number number of ports of call to eleven and extended ports of call to two in both the countries.
Inclusion of Jogigopha in India and Bahadurabad in Bangladesh as new ports of call will provide connectivity to Meghalaya, Assam, and Bhutan.
Regarding the Protocol, on a separate press release, the High Commission of India said, “It is expected that these additions to the protocol will greatly facilitate the bilateral trade, with improved reliability and cost effectiveness for the business community and the people of both the countries.”