The Minister of State for Shipping (Independent Charge), India, Mansukh Mandaviya will flag off an inland waterways vessel containing cargo from Bhutan to Bangladesh via Brahmaputra river and the Indo-Bangla Protocol Route today (July 12).
"This is a first of its kind movement where an Indian inland waterway is being used for connecting two countries - landlocked Bhutan and Bangladesh,"said a press note from the shipping ministry of India.
1000 Metric Ton of crushed stone aggregates will sail on Inland Waterways Authority of India’s (IWAI) vessel MV AAI from Dhubri port in Assam to Narayanganj in Bangladesh through India’s NW2 and Indo Bangladesh Protocol Route.
The stone aggregates were transported by trucks from Phuentsholing in Bhutan which is 160 KMs from IWAI’s Dhubri jetty in Asaam.
Bhutan has been exporting significant quantity of stone aggregates through the land route for different construction projects in Bangladesh.
The exports through Inland Waterways mode will serve as an alternate mode of transportation which is cheaper and more environment friendly. It also offers larger shipment size as compared to road, avoiding congestion on land routes. While this consignment is being transported in one single barge through Inland Waterways, by road it would have taken 50 trucks of 20 Metric Ton capacity to carry the same volume of cargo.
This movement is expected to inspire confidence among the Bhutanese exporters to increasingly shift to waterways mode and increase the trade of stone aggregates and other cargo between Bhutan and Bangladesh through India’s inland waterways. Bhutanese exporters and importers are likely to use this route frequently now.