A delegation from the Ministry of Shipping and Water Resources will visit Tripura on December 26 to conduct a survey and decide on the location of a jetty which would be set up on River Gomti for inland waterways connectivity with Bangladesh. The project was earlier approved in principle by the Centre.
A statement from the Department of Information and Cultural Affairs Wednesday informed that Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb met Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari in New Delhi on Tuesday.
“It was decided that a high ranking team from Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) would visit Tripura on 26th and 27th December, 2018 and decide the location of jetty/finalise the location of land for the project of inland waters in Gomti river from Tripura to Bangladesh”, the statement said.
On the issue, a senior official from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) informed Wednesday morning that Sonamura in Sipahijala district, 70 km from here, was initially chosen as the location for the jetty. A preliminary survey was conducted by the state government. However, IWAI officials will take a final call on the subject.
Tripura is surrounded by Bangladesh on three sides and share 856 km international border with the neighbouring country. People from the state have to travel 645 km via Guwahati in Assam to reach Kolkata. The route will help the Indo-Bangla connectivity.
Earlier in October, a secretary from the Ministry of Shipping visited Tripura to study the feasibility of inland waterways connectivity in the state. Chief Minister Biplab Deb said that the riverbed of Gomti would be dredged to allow small ships to enter Tripura from Ashuganj port of Bangladesh, which is 60 Km away.
However, forthcoming parliamentary elections in Bangladesh has halted the process for now. “We are hoping that the dredging work will commence by end of January”, the CMO official said.
The chief minister’s meeting with Gadkari also discussed installing road safety barriers on National Highway 08 on a stretch of Agartala to Udaipur for passenger safety, revalidation of a project of Rs. 197.67 crores on National Highway 08 from Churaibari in North Tripura to Agartala in West Tripura district, re-examination of structural design of underpass of Indo-Bangla bridge on River Feni in south district etc.