Waterway Ties Of India & Bangladesh

Waterway Ties Of India & Bangladesh

With the initiation of a waterway between India and Bangladesh, the countries witnessed another development in their relationship, starting from the role of the former in the formation of the latter.

Crux of the Matter

India-Bangladesh Waterway
The first inland waterway connecting India’s Sonamura (in Tripura) to Bangladesh was recently opened, with the network being added to the list of “Indo-Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) routes” on 20 May 2020. The transportation would be done through river Gomati of India which merges into river Meghna in Bangladesh, with a boat carrying 50 MT cement from Bangladesh arriving in India on 5 September on a trial run.

Biplab Kumar Deb, Chief Minister of Tripura, recently predicted that exports from the state to Bangladesh would increase from ₹30 crores to ₹1,200 crores and imports would increase from ₹645 crores to ₹4,200 crores in the next 5 years. He also declared the waterways deal as important in boosting the ties between India and Bangladesh.

With the successful run, Indo-Bangla waterways will open up new avenues for economic development in both the countries where Tripura will play an important role.

Biplab Kumar Deb, Chief Minister of Tripura

Railways And Fish
A railway line connecting Agartala (in Tripura) to Akhaura in Bangladesh was recently announced, which would be completed in 2021. The ‘track’ laying cost for the project would be borne by the Tripura State Government and the Central Govt of India.

Bangladesh recently also allowed the export of 1,450 tonnes of ‘Hilsa’ fish to India for the ‘Durga Puja’ festival, increasing from a supply of 500 tonnes of 2019.

  • The Teen Bigha Corridor is a strip of land belonging to India on the West Bengal – Bangladesh border. In September 2011, the corridor was leased to Bangladesh so the country could access its Dahagram–Angarpota enclave from the mainland. 
  • The India–Bangladesh enclaves, also known as the chiṭmahals were the enclaves along the Bangladesh–India border. According to a popular legend, the enclaves were used as stakes in card or chess games centuries ago between two regional kings, the Raja of Koch Bihar and the Maharaja of Rangpur. 
  • The Banga Sena is a separatist Hindu organization which advocates formation of a separate homeland for Bengali Hindus in Bangladesh. The group is led by Kalidas Baidya.