New waterways between India and Bangladesh will be possible by connecting two rivers of Tripura with as many rivers of Bangladesh, according to a study by the Rail India Technical and Economic Services.
RITES has submitted the Detail Project Report (DPR) after conducting feasibility study to create new inland water transport between the Gomati and the Howrah rivers in the State with the Meghna and the Titas rivers of the neighbouring country, Secretary of Transport Department Kishore Ambuly said on Sunday.
“The rivers will have navigation facilities for smooth movement of barges,” he said.
The North Eastern Council (NEC) had provided funds for preparing the DPR for development of waterways in north eastern part of the country.
The project report would be submitted to the union ministry of shipping and other ministries concerned to formally initiate the process to open new waterway between two the two neighbours.
RITES had conducted a preliminary feasibility study early this year.
The State government had submitted a proposal to the central government for declaring the Gomti as a national waterway keeping in view the potential of linkage with inland waterways of Bangladesh, he said.
Indian and Bangladeshi waterways connect West Bengal and Assam and the inland waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and Bangladesh Inland water Transport Authority (BIWTA) are operating vessels on these routes, official sources said.
The two neighbours share 2,979 km of land border and 1,116 km of riverine boundary and also share 54 rivers, including eight rivers flowing from Tripura.
India has long been pressing for using Bangladeshi waterways and ports, especially for easy transport of Indian goods from Kolkata and other mainland cities to northeastern States through that country, official sources said.
Over-sized turbines and other heavy machines for 726 MW gas-based thermal power project at Palatana in Gomti district was transported to Tripura by using the waterways and roads of Bangladesh.
President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated Rs. 3,429-crore power project of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) at Palatana on June 21, 2013, the sources said.