Bangladesh offer on Chittagong Port

Bangladesh Prime Minister offered India the use of the Chittagong Port in Bangladesh.

What is the advantage of the offer?

Access to the Chittagong Port will benefit India’s northeastern states like Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya, and Mizoram.

Why the offer is significant?

Before independence, the northeastern part of India had access to Chittagong Port via the Brahmaputra and Barak River systems. After partition in 1947, India’s Northeast lost access to the sea. The Chittagong Port had gone to East Pakistan and India lost a major trade route. However, India continued to use the ports of East Pakistan until the 1965 war with Pakistan. After that, the northeast had to depend on the ‘chicken’s neck’ (a narrow strip in West Bengal) to carry out trade. However, in recent years India got access to some ports of Bangladesh including Chittagong Port. Further revival of pre-Partition trade routes would improve the trade for the Northeast region and generate revenue for Bangladesh.

What are the other initiatives to revive these trade routes?

  • In March 2021, the Prime Ministers of India and Bangladesh inaugurated the Maitri Setu Bridge. It was built over the Feni River and reduced the distance between (Tripura) and the Chittagong port in Bangladesh.
  • Road infrastructure in Meghalaya’s Dawki, Assam’s Sutarkandi, and Tripura’s Akhaura linking Bangladesh is also being improved.
  • Mizoram is planning to build bridges across the Khawthlangtuipui river for faster access to the Chittagong port.

Where is Chittagong Port located?

Chittagong Port, Bangladesh’s principal seaport is built on the Karnafuli River. It is the busiest port along the coastline of the Bay of Bengal. It is also used for transshipment by India, Nepal, and Bhutan.

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