KOLKATA, Sept 7: Kolkata Port, known also as Syama Prasad Mookherjee Port (SMP), has carried out its second successful trial of cargo movement to Chattogram ports in Bangladesh, an official of SMP said on Wednesday. The second trial voyage to Chattogram port carrying a cargo of steel reached the Bangladesh port on Tuesday, SMP chairman Vinit Kumar told PTI.
The trial was conducted for the operationalisation of the Agreement to Use Chattogram and Mongla Ports (ACMP) under the Indo-Bangla protocol. It was signed between the two countries in 2018 for transit of goods to and from India, the official said.
As per the ACMP, multi-modal transit or transhipment of goods is permitted on eight routes. Goods arriving from India at Chattogram or Mongla ports can be sent to Agartala via Akhaura in Bangladesh, to Dawki in Meghalaya via Tamabil in Sylhet, Bangladesh, Sutarkandi in Assam via Sheola, also in Sylhet and Srimantapur in Tripura via Bibir Bazar in Cumilla and vice versa, officials said.
The standard operating procedure on the operationalisation of the ACMP was signed during Bangladesh Premier Shiekh Hasina’s visit to India in 2019 to pave the way for improved bilateral ties besides cost effective, faster, eco-friendly connectivity to the North Eastern states. Hasina is currently on a state visit to India.
“The trials have been successful for both Chattogram and Mongla ports. These will open a new avenue to boost faster, eco-friendly cargo transit to the North East states and help generate employment in both the countries,” Kumar said.
‘ MV Trans Samudera’ carried 25-tonne steel bars has reached Chattogram Tuesday on its journey to Silchar in Assam. The container will go to Silchar via Sheola-Sutarkhandi border points and offload its cargo. Tea will be loaded on it at Dawki before it returns to Chittagong Port via Tamabil land customs station on its return journey to Kolkata in a few days.
The first trial movement under the agreement on the Chattogram-Akhaura-Agartala route was completed successfully in July 2020 wherein four containers, two each of TMT steel and pulses, were delivered to Integrated Check Post (ICP) Agartala from Kolkata through Chattogram.
The trial run from Kolkata to the northeast via Bangladesh’s Mongla port was held early August. Union minister Pratima Bhoumik had received a consignment in Tripura’s Sepahijala district.
The Kolkata port is to undertake a total four trial runs to Chittagong and Mongla ports before the implementation of the agreement.