By– Correspondent | Date- October- 1, 2011
People of North East India will no longer have to just rely on the only transportation route through the Chicken’s neck connecting North East to “mainland” India.
In a significant development announced yesterday,India and Bangladesh have now come to mutual consent regarding transportation through Bangladesh. However the first phase for the same is only related to transportation of food grains as it has been reported that Dhaka has, as of now, only agreed to allow India to ferry food grains for the northeastern states via Bangladesh territories.
With this development, trade and transportation is expected to boost significantly. Distances would cut down by big margins and so would fuel costs and other factors. With the route viaBangladesh, the distance between Agartala and Kolkata would now become only about 350 km, bringing down the current distance of 1,650 kms between the two state capitals through the current route.
The Food Corporation of India (FCI) and Inland Water Transport Authority (IWTA) are reported to be in the process of putting in place the final pieces to the plan. They are also selecting agencies that would carry the food grains and essential items across the routes.
However few logistical issues are yet to be discussed with Bangladesh Government and formal agreements are expected to be signed only after these issues are settled.
The plan was made public during a meeting yesterday, chaired by Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution K.V. Thomas and attended by food ministers of all seven northeastern states.