Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb announced on Friday, May 29 that a new inland waterways route on the Gomati River, that would connect Tripura with Daudkandi in Bangladesh, will be ready to start ferrying goods within the next three months. Deb spoke to the media during his visit to the project site at Srimantapur in Sonamura subdivision of Sipahijala district.
"This is a dream-come-true project for us. The new waterway project would be operational in three months and ships carrying goods from Bangladesh would start moving. With the starting of the new waterway, Tripura would emerge as a gateway to the north-eastern region. I thank the prime ministers of India and Bangladesh for approving the new waterway. There is no doubt that it would boost the state''s economy and communication," Biplab Kumar Deb said.
"A temporary jetty would be installed at Sonamura within the next three to four months. I have had discussions with Sanjeev Ranjan, secretary to the Ministry of Shipping, for setting up the temporary jetty. He has assured me that it will be installed," the Tripura CM added.
Regarding the construction of a permanent jetty, Deb said, "Testing will be done in the ongoing rainy spell while dredging of the river will be carried out in the next winter season when the water level will come down. As per the initial report, there are 23 bridges that may create an obstruction for the movement of vessels if the water level rises. But dredging of the river will solve such problems."
At present, ships and steamers ply from Haldia in West Bengal to Daudkandi in Bangladesh, which is only 80 km from Tripura''s Sonamura sub-division. Deb mentioned a temporary jetty would be constructed at the Srimantapur ICP within two-and-a-half months.
The agreement for the new protocol (IBP) routes was signed between the High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das and Bangladesh Shipping Secretary Md Mezbah Uddin Chowdhury at Dhaka.
(With agency inputs)