The first-ever container cargo from Kolkata via Bangladesh's Chattogram port has reached Agartala, the External Affairs Ministry said on Thursday, terming it a "historic milestone" in the India-Bangladesh connectivity and economic partnership.
Union minister Mansukh Mandaviya had last week flagged off the first trial container ship from Kolkata carrying cargo meant for Agartala that reached the city via the Chattogram port. MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said it will help in further development of the northeastern region.
"Another historic milestone in India-Bangladesh connectivity & economic partnership as the first ever container cargo from Kolkata via Chattogram port reaches Agartala. This will help in further development of the north eastern region," he said in a tweet.
India and Bangladesh have enhanced cooperation in shipping and inland water trade in the recent years. Under the Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade, in addition to the six existing Ports of Call, five more in each country have been added recently, the Ministry of Shipping said in a statement last week.
A Port of Call is a place where a ship stops during a voyage to enable the loading and unloading of cargo. Dredging of inland waterway routes is ongoing under a pact signed by the two countries on development of fairway in selected stretches of Bangladesh waterways, with the Government of India bearing 80 per cent of the project expenditure and the balance being borne by the neighbouring country, it said.
Cruise services have also commenced between the two countries, promoting tourism and people-to-people contacts, it said.