NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said connectivity is not only strengthening friendship between India and Bangladesh but also proving to be a strong link of business.
Modi came up with the remark while inaugurating Maitri Setu (Friendship Bridge) virtually with his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday.The Indian premier said the connectivity between Bangladesh and India will prove to be very important for the northeast region of India and Bangladesh trade as well.
‘Maitri Setu,’ which spans 1.9 kilometres joining Sabroom in India with Ramgarh in Bangladesh, has been built over the Feni River, which flows between the Indian boundary in Tripura and Bangladesh.
The name of the bridge symbolises the growing bilateral relations and friendly ties between India and Bangladesh.
"The bridge will improve connectivity of south Assam, Mizoram and Manipur along with Tripura with Bangladesh and Southeast Asia. It will also give an impetus to the economic opportunity in Bangladesh," Modi said.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also addressed the inauguration of the bridge and greeted people of both the countries on the occasion. "This is a historic moment as we are creating a new era in South Asia by providing connectivity to India. Political boundaries should not become physical barriers to trade," she added.
“Opening of any bridge is testimony to Bangladesh government's continued commitment to support our neighbour India in strengthening connectivity in the region, particularly in northeast India,” she said during the launch of ‘Maitri Setu’ through videoconference.Modi emphasised that the rail and water connectivity projects involving Bangladesh and India, which were completed in recent years, have been strengthened by the bridge. This will improve connectivity of south Assam, Mizoram and Manipur along with Tripura with Bangladesh and Southeast Asia, Modi said.
He thanked the Bangladesh government and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for the cooperation in completion of the bridge project.
"The bridge is poised to herald a new chapter for trade and people-to-people movement between India and Bangladesh. With this inauguration, Tripura is set to become a ‘Gateway of North East’ with access to Chittagong Port of Bangladesh, which is just 80 km from Sabroom," the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) of India said in the statement.
The Indian premier also laid the foundation stone of an integrated check post at Sabroom which will help in easing the movement of goods and passengers between India and Bangladesh. The project has an estimated cost of about ₹232 crore, according to the PMO statement.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi jointly inaugurate Maitri Setu (Friendship Bridge) over the Feni River through videoconferencing on Tuesday.