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The Port Trust Authority of India has expressed satisfaction over the ongoing infrastructure development activities to connect Kolkata-Haldia-Chittagong- Agartala integrated check post as an alternative waterway for northeast.

Chairman of Kolkata Port Trust Bineet Kumar after visiting the entire stretch upcoming trade link between Tripura through Chittagong Seaport said with the opening of Chittagong seaport for Indian use through South Tripura would bring a massive change in trade and business in Northeast.

At present entire Northeast and West Bengal is using Kolkata port for getting access to waterways.

The bridge coming up on River Feni of Sabroom in South Tripura and Special Economic Zone (SEZ) within 100 kilometres of Chittagong seaport will boost trade between Chittagong port and Agartala Integrated Check-post, which is expected to be experimented for the first time within a month or two, he asserted.

Kumar arrived in Agartala on February 12 to inspect the ground developments and said Agartala ICP is all set to start the operation. Adequate space and integrated set up all important agencies make it an ideal place for the proposed trade links.

Speaking on the possibilities of Ashuganj port, he said, Tripura is eager to use Ashuganj port for its geographical proximity but still there are some infrastructure lapses.

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He hoped Ashuganj port is expected to be ready by next two three years for handling large containers.

Kumar added, an MOU has been signed between India and Bangladesh to use Chittagong port. Thus, the process has been expedited in the administrative level to start the necessary transportation of goods. For now, some consignments will be transported through this route in experimental basis.

He said, this trade route will largely benefit the state, as once started, it will reduce the transportation cost of the goods.

The distance between Chittagong and Kolkata ports is 400 km through waterways and from Chittagong Agartala ICP is only 200 Km away which means Tripura will get an extra-edge in terms of transportation costs, he observed.

In the meantime, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb in another programme said that the route connecting Kolkata, Bangladesh and Tripura would begin its operation from next April or May that would increase possibilities of employment.

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