New waterways on India-Bangladesh foreign secretaries agenda

Proposed waterways between India and Bangladesh would be discussed at the foreign secretary-level meeting in Dhaka in October, a top official has said.


The Union DoNER (Development of North Eastern Region) Ministry is prioritising multi-modal connectivity in India's northeastern region, including water connectivity, and has proposed 16 waterway projects, mostly involving Bangladesh.


Since 1972, four inland water routes between India and Bangladesh are operational.


These are Kolkata-Pandu (in southern Assam) via Bangladesh, Kolkata-Karimganj (in southern Assam) via Bangladesh, Rajshahi (in Bangladesh)-Dhulian (in southern Assam) and Karimganj-Pandu-Karimganj via Bangladesh.


The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) officials informed us that the proposed waterways between India and Bangladesh would be discussed in the next foreign secretary-level meeting in Dhaka in October, Tripura government's Principal Secretary (Transport) Laihlia Darlong told IANS.


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The Rs 2,483 crore proposed waterway (project) between Tripura and Bangladesh would also be discussed in the foreign secretary-level meeting. The entire expenditure of the new waterway projects would be born by the Indian government, he added.


The IWAI officials also informed us that the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the proposed 18 km waterway between Gomati (Tripura) and Meghna (Bangladesh) would be finalised by September.


Darlong said that to create the new waterway between the two countries, 15 km dredging has to be done in the Meghna river in Bangladesh and three km in Tripura's Gomati river.


A joint technical committee of India and Bangladesh had recently visited the proposed site at Sonamura in western Tripura, where the IWAI would construct the terminal for the proposed river waterway, he added.