Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das has said the agreement on the use of Mongla and Chittagong ports and recent second addendum in the India-Bangladesh protocol route will rejuvenate livelihood and economy of the region.
Indian High Commissioner made the remarks at the inaugural webinar of Asian Confluence NADI conversations organised by Asian Confluence on Wednesday.“These mutually beneficial arrangements will further strengthen the integration of our supply chains and logistics sectors,” she noted. These will generate employment and spur investments in the logistics and services sector of Bangladesh such as finance, transport and insurance, she also hoped.
In her speech, Riva Ganguly Das said Bangladesh will earn revenue from cargo transit through the use of Bangladeshi trucks and from administrative and port fees.
“Full potential of the multimodal connectivity projects will be realised in Narayanganj, Sirajganj, Mongla, Chilmari and Khulna enabling them to emerge as new economic hubs in Bangladesh,” added Riva Ganguly.
Terming rivers as part of common heritage, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam said, “When we talk about the 54 trans-boundary rivers with India, we are talking of an opulent harvest of fusing culture, crafts and trade developed over generations”. Yasser Rizvi of Summit Group said that the new Daudkandi - Sonamura route has good potential and in order to maximise usage suitable transshipment points must be identified for handling goods to and from the smaller barges.
Pangaon and SAPL Muktarpur are both suitable for this, he pointed out.
Ram Gopal Agarwal, Distinguished fellow of NITI Aayog, former senior shipping secretary of Bangladesh Abdus Sammad and former Bangladesh Bank Governor Dr Atiur Rahman also echoed on the theme that inland waterways bring part of a larger multimodal connectivity scheme to ensure cost effectiveness.