Bangladesh and India have signed an agreement on inclusion of 10 more ports of call in the water transit protocol, aiming to gear up inland water transit and trade activities between the two countries.
Shipping Secretary Mohammad Mezbah Uddin Chowdhury and Indian High Commissioner in Bangladesh Riva Das Ganguly signed the second Addendum on Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade (PIWTT) at the conference room of the Ministry of Shipping (MoS) on Wednesday.
Under the agreement, Bangladesh and India each will have five new ports of call along with their mutual exiting 12 ones.
The new ports of call in Bangladesh will be Rajshahi, Sultanganj, Chilmari, Daudkandi and Bahadurabad while in India, Dhulian, Moya, Kolaghat, Sonamura and Jogigopa will be the new ports of call under the deal.
Besides, there will be two ‘extended ports of call’ for each side. In Bangladesh, Ghorashal under Narsingdi district will be under Narayanganj Port of Call and Moktarpur under Munshigaj district will be under Pangaon Port of Call, while in India, Tribeni (Bandel) will be under Kolkata Port of Call and Badarpur will be under Karimganj Port of Call.
Daudkandi (Bangladesh)-Sonamura (India) and Sonamura-Daudkandi routes will also be included as new routes of the existing eight river protocol routes.
There are now 12 ports of call between the two countries.
The existing ports of call in Bangladesh are Narayanganj, Khulna, Mongla, Sirajganj, Ashuganj and Pangaon, while in India those are Kolkata, Haldia, Karimganj, Pandu, Shilghat and Dhubri.
Through river protocol routes, a total of 22,86, 852 tonnes of goods were transported by Bangladeshi ships with an estimated 2,685 trips while goods worth 78,794 tonnes were also transported by Indian ships with 59 trips during the fiscal year (FY) 2018-19.
The term “Port of call” means an intermediate stop for a ship on its scheduled journey for cargo operation or taking on supplies or fuel.
As per the shipping Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) regulation, a “port of call” can be defined as the port of a country where cargo or a passenger (cruise) ship halts to discharge or load the cargo or to embark or disembark passengers.
Bangladesh and India signed the ‘Agreement on Inland Water Transit and Trade’ in 1972.
And since then the two countries have renewed the agreement through PIWTT (Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade).
Among the existing river routes of the two countries are—
a): Kolkata- Haldia-Roymongol-Chalna-Khulna-Mongla-Kaukhali-Barishal-Hijla-Chandpur-Narayanganj- Pangaon-Aricha-Sirajganj-Bahadurabad-Chilmari-Dhubri-Pandu-Shilghat.
b): Shilghat-Pandu-Dhubri-Chilmari-Bahadurabad-Sirajganj-Aricha-Narayanganj-Pangaon-Chandpur- Hijla-Barishal-Kaukhali-Mongla-Khulna-Chalna-Roymongol-Haldia-Kolkata.
c): Kolkata-Haldia-Roymongal-Mongla-Kaukhali-Barishal-Hijla-Chandpur-Narayanganj-Pangaon- Boirabbazar-Ashuganj-Ajmeriganj-Markuli-Sherpur-Fenchuganj-Jakiganj-Karimganj.
d): Karimganj-Jakiganj-Fenchuganj-Sherpur-Markuli, Ajmeriganj-Ashuganj- Boirabbazar-Narayanganj- Pangaon-Chandpur-Hijla-Barishal-Kaukhali-Mongla-Roymongol-Haldia-Kolkata.
High officials of the MoS and foreign affairs and chairman of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority Commodore Golam Sadeq were present, among others.
© 2020 - All Rights with The Financial Express