Kolkata, Sep 3 (Ajit Weekly News) MV Trans Samudera set sail from the Kolkata port on Saturday on a special mission. Carrying 25 tonnes of TMT Bars of Tata Steel, she will explore new routes for movement of cargo to and from India’s northeastern states using the waterways in India and Bangladesh.
The steel bars will be unloaded at Chittagong Port where MV Trans Samudera will load a container of tea that will travel to the port in Bangladesh from Silchar in Assam through the Dawki and Tamabil Land Customs Stations. The ship will carry this cargo back to Kolkata.
In March this year, in a Joint Group of Customs (JGC) meeting between India and Bangladesh, Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port (SMP), Kolkata, was entrusted with carrying out four such trial runs. These will have to be completed within six months.
This is part of the Agreement on the use of Chattogram and Mongla Ports (ACMP) between the two countries. The MV Trans Samudera will explore the route between Tamabil and Chittagong. Earlier, the MV Rishad Rayan already sailed to and from Mongla to study the route between Tamabil and Mongla.
SMP, Kolkata will carry out trials between Mongla and Tamabil, Tamabil and Chittagong, Chittagong and Sheola and Mongla and Bibirbazar.
While Tamabil in Bangladesh’s Sylhet is close to the border with Meghalaya, Sheola is barely 25 km by road to Karimganj in Assam.
Bibirbazar is also close to the border with Tripura. The idea is to move cargo from the ports of Kolkata or Haldia to Chittagong and Mongla.
This cargo can then be moved by road to Tamabil, Sheola or Bibirbazar from where they would cross the border into India.
Produce from the north-eastern states can also travel back to Kolkata or Haldia along the same route.
The barges or vessels plying between Kolkata/Haldia and Chittagong/Mongla can also carry Bangladesh’s EXIM cargo. Maersk Line India Pvt Ltd has tied up with SMP, Kolkata for two trials between Mongla and Tamabil and Mongla and Bibirbazar.
“Cargo movement from SMP, Kolkata through the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route will not only reduce transit cost and time but help develop the economy of the region,” SMP, Kolkata chairman Vinit Kumar said.
–Ajit Weekly News
News Credits – I A N S