The decision comes two days after Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla’s visit to Bangladesh
India is set to use the rivers of Bangladesh for transhipment (shipment of goods, containers) purposes for the first time in history, under the second addendum to the Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade between the two neighbouring countries.
On September 2, the Indian ship MV Premier, is scheduled to carry 50 tons of cement from Comilla’s Daudkandi upazila to Tripura’s Sonamura town in India, through the river Gomti, as a trial run.
The decision comes two days after Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla’s visit to Bangladesh.
Confirming the matter, Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) Chairman, Commodore Golam Sadeq, told Dhaka Tribune: “We’re making preparations for the trial run through the Gomti river.”
The Indian ship will use the Bibirbazar land port for customs clearance, Sadeq said.
On May 20, High Commissioner of India in Bangladesh, Riva Ganguly Das, on behalf of India, and Shipping Ministry Secretary, Mohammed Mezbah Uddin Chowdhury, on behalf of Bangladesh, signed the addendum at the Bangladesh Secretariat.
The Protocol was first signed in 1972, not long after the independence of Bangladesh. It was renewed in 2015 for five years, with a provision of automatic renewal for a further five years, providing long term assurance to the stakeholders.