The Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port (SMP) in Kolkata is set to initiate regular cargo transportation to the northeastern states via Bangladesh soon, according to reports.
This development follows a bilateral agreement between the two neighbouring nations, which has enabled the utilisation of multi-modal transit and transshipment of commodities.
This includes permanent access to Bangladesh's Chittagong and Mongla ports by India, facilitating the smooth transit and transshipment of goods.
This move aims to substantially decrease the time and costs associated with transporting commodities to the northeastern states of India.
Additionally, the Bangladesh government has granted consent to four transportation routes for the movement of goods within Tripura and other northeastern Indian states. (More on this)
Cargo originating from India and arriving at Chittagong and Mongla ports can be directed to Agartala, through Akhaura in Bangladesh.
Additionally, the approved routes includes transportation to Dawki in Meghalaya via Tamabil in Sylhet, Sutarkandi in Assam via Sheola, and Srimantapur in Tripura via Bibir Bazar in Comilla, as well as the reverse directions.
SMP deputy chairman (Kolkata) Samrat Rahi said, "Very soon we are going to start regular operations to northeastern states through Bangladesh. For that the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways is already in talks with the customs authorities and the Ministry of External Affairs."
He mentioned that trial runs for this purpose have already been executed.
Once regular operations commence, the northeastern states will experience substantial benefits.
In FY 2022-23, the Kolkata Port achieved a total cargo volume of 65.66 million metric tonne. The port has set a target of reaching 70 million metric tonne in the upcoming fiscal year.
The official also mentioned that the port's capacity is expected to double within four to five years, through the mechanisation of its facilities.
Additionally, the facility is in the process of establishing a new terminal project at Balagarh, located 85 km upstream of the Hooghly River.
This terminal aims to provide convenient cargo access for the northeastern states.
Furthermore, a 60-acre logistic park with modern amenities is being developed in Kolkata, which is anticipated to greatly benefit the state's logistics sector.
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