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India, Bangladesh likely to sign MoU for new waterway


India and Bangladesh are likely to sign an MoU for a new waterway to connect Gomati river in Tripura and Meghna river in Bangladesh during the four-day trip of Bangladesh Premier Sheikh Hasina beginning from Thursday, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb said.

Hasina will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi during her visit, he said.

Deb is leaving for New Delhi on Thursday to meet the Bangladesh prime minister, officials said. Bangladesh Premier Sheikh Hasina will meet our Prime Minister Narendra Modi during her four-day trip beginning today and a wide range of bilateral issues would be discussed,” Deb said at a function here.

If the MoU is signed by them a new protocol route between Bangladesh and India will be opened by connecting Gomati and Meghna rivers. It would facilitate carriage of goods from Ashuganj port on Meghna river in Brahmanbaria district of Bangladesh to Sonamura in Sipahijala district of Tripura, he said.

Movement of vessels on Gomati river for providing waterway connectivity to Tripura would be possible only after the inclusion of the stretch between Sonamura in Tripura's Sepahijala district and Daudkandi in Comilla district of Bangladesh as part of the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol route, Deb said.

The Chief Minister had in June sought the permission of the shipping ministry through an official letter for construction of a temporary jetty on Gomati river and declaration of the stretch of it from Sonamura in Tripuras Sepahijala district to Daudkandi in Comilla district of Bangladesh as waterway connectivity of the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol route.

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 in Sepahijala district.