The first shipment of food products exported from Bangladesh to India using the inland waterways left the Pran Industrial Park from Palash in Narsingdi on Tuesday. Minister of State for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury flagged off the ship M V Alif Lam Mim which will cover a distance of about 710 kilometers to Kolkata in 8 days.
Speaking on the occasion, Shipping Minister Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury said that the government has taken several steps to export goods directly to India using the inland waterways on protocol routes. He said the government is increasing the fleet of dredgers to ensure navigability of rivers for easier transportation through inland waterway routes.
Earlier these items were being sent through trucks which resulted in higher cost and wastage of the products on the way.
In September last year, the first shipment on the protocol route commenced with a consignment of 50 tonnes of cement sent from Daudkandi in Bangladesh to Sonamura in Tripura on the new protocol route.
The Protocol for Inland Water Trade & Transit (PIWTT) was signed between India and Bangladesh in 1972 to connect the two countries through inland waterways. In 2019-2020, approx. 3.5 million MT of cargo was transported between India and Bangladesh on the protocol routes.