Indian trucks to carry transit cargo from Akhaura

 image Bangladeshi trucks carrying export goods lie stranded at the Akhaura land port on Monday to make way for the Indian trucks to enter Bangladesh. — Indrajit Ghosh

Shipping ministry unaware of ‘regular transit’

The government decided to allow Indian trucks to enter into Bangladesh to carry Indian goods under ‘regular transit’ from Akhaura land port to Agartala in the Indian province of Tripura, said officials.

On October 19, when the regular transit began Bangladesh trucks carried the

Indian transit cargo from Akhaura to Agartala.

The regular transit began in a hurry and without any formal announcement even before the trial transit could be completed.

‘The authorities instructed the land customs station at Akhaura to allow Indian trucks to carry the transit cargo from Akhaura to Agartala,’ the customs station officer Subhash Chandra Kundu told New Age on Monday.

He refused to say when he received the new instruction.

Under the new decision, he said, local trucks would carry the Indian transit cargo from Ashuganj river port only up to Akhaura land port.

India started using Bangladesh for the trial transit of its cargo from West Bengal to Tripura on September 29.

Indian trucks transported its cargo from Akhaura to Agartala since the trial transit began.

Bangladesh allowed India regular transit even before completing the trial transit, creating fresh confusion over the entire issue.

The ‘regular transit’ of Indian cargo from Kolkata to Agartala through Bangladesh began under Bangladesh-India Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade.

On the first day of the regular transit on October 19, nine Bangladesh trucks, each carrying 17.5 tonnes of iron bars, carried the transit cargo from Ashuganj river port to Agartala.

The Indian cargo, arriving by ship is unloaded at Ashuganj river port before reloading on trucks headed for the land port at Akhaura border for the ultimate destination of Agartala in Tripura.   

Shipping ministry secretary Md Abdul Mannan Howlader told New Age on Monday, ‘No truck of India can enter into Bangladesh to carry its transit cargo without an agreement in this regard.’

He said, India is transiting its cargo through Bangladesh, using the Ashuganj river port and Akhaura land port on trial basis following a decision of the two countries.

The shipping ministry secretary, however, expressed his ignorance about it when asked how the regular transit could begin even before the transit on trial basis could be completed.

He said that the shipping ministry called a meeting of the ministries of commerce, communications and the national board of revenue to evaluate whether the trial transit would bring benefit or loss to Bangladesh.

The inter-ministerial meeting is set for tomorrow, he said.

Source: newagebd.com

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