Cargo vehicle begins trial run on new Dhaka route
Kolkata - The first trial run of a cargo vehicle on the Kolkata-Agartala via Dhaka route was flagged off on 1st November 2015.
It will reduce the distance between Kolkata and Agartala nearly by two-third. This is a part of the four-nation agreement among Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) for cross-border movement of people and goods. Known as the BBIN Motor Vehicle Agreement for the Regulation of Passenger, Personal and Cargo Vehicular Traffic, it was signed in Thimpu on June 15.
Unlike the traditional land route in which one has to cover a distance of 1,550 km via Siliguri in north Bengal to reach Agartala in Tripura from Kolkata, in the alternative route the distance would be reduced to 640 km as cargo vehicles will be transiting through Bangladesh.
“The benefits of the project are obvious as with the shortening of distance, transport cost will also come down,” said Vijay Chhibber, Secretary, Union Ministry of Road and Highways, who flagged off the trial run.
The alternative route is likely to make the movement of goods between the north- eastern State and rest of the Country more convenient. As Tripura and north-eastern States such as Meghalaya and Mizoram share a long border with Bangladesh, cross-border movement of goods via Dhaka will be more cost effective and less time consuming.
“Tripura is the entry point to the north-east. In fact Manipur, Mizoram and the southern part of Assam will be connected with the rest of the Country by this alternative route,” said Mr. Chhibber.
Passenger movement between Kolkata and Dhaka have already been started. Experts are of the opinion that financial benefits of the alternative route will not be limited to the reduction in transport expenditure. Beyond cost saving, it will also increase our connectivity with our eastern neighbours