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Indian ship sails for Narayanganj in Bangladesh carrying cargo from Bhutan:

  • The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) ship, MV AAI  flagged-off by Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State for Shipping (Independent Charge) and Chemical and Fertilisers, from Dhubri river port (Assam )to Narayanganj (Bangladesh), carrying 1000 MT of Bhutanese stone over river Brahmaputra, using Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route.

Key points:
i. Benefit: The environment-friendly mode of transport will cut short travel time by 8 to 10 days, reduce transportation cost by 30%, bringing down logistics costs & making it easier and cheaper to reach goods to North Eastern states from other parts of the country. In order to maintain the depth of water on this route, India will provide Rs 300 crore to Bangladesh for 5 years.
ii.Way forward:  This new development will strengthen the bilateral ties with the neighboring countries and it takes forward Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to promote cargo transportation through inland waterways.
iii. Highlight: This is the first time that an Indian waterway is being used as a channel for transport of cargo between the two countries.
iv. Steps Taken: The central Government taking various measures include providing an assured depth of water in the channels, navigation aids like GPS(Global Positioning System) and River Information System, terminals at regular intervals, and facilities for mechanized cargo handling to increase the use of Inland Waterways and Coastal Shipping for greater cargo shipment.
v. Background: The stone aggregates were transported through the land by trucks from Phuentsholing in Bhutan, which is 160 kilometres from IWAI’s Dhubri jetty in Assam.70 trucks would be required to transport the 1000 MT of stones by road.

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