Bangladesh and India have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to connect the north-east and West Bengal with Bangladesh through new waterways, Union minister Mansukh Mandaviya has said.
“The new waterways would enable transportation of people and goods by ships. They would be set up by using the major rivers of Bangladesh, West Bengal and the Brahmaputra in Assam,” the Union minister of state for road transport, highways and shipping told reporters here last night.
He added that the rivers would have to be dredged and both the countries would do the work in their respective rivers.
The new project would be operational this year itself and would boost the goods and passenger movement between the two countries, said Mandaviya.
India and Bangladesh share a 4,095-km border, of which 1,116 km is through rivers.
Bangladesh receives water from 54 rivers in India.
Mandaviya, who is also the Union minister of state for chemicals and fertilisers, yesterday met Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and Governor Tathagata Roy and discussed about the implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana, a central scheme to provide quality medicines to the poor.
He said for the Narendra Modi government, the ‘Look East, act East’ policy was very important and it planned to build more infrastructure and institutions in the region, so that it could “catch up” with the rest of the country.
Construction of highways in the region was one of the important plans of the government, he said.
Mandaviya said currently, there were six national highways covering a distance of 854 km in Tripura and in addition to this, four new roads covering 229 km had been approved by the ministry.