Agartala: The Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) has inked a pact with the Bangladesh government in Dhaka for emergency ferrying of petroleum products to the Northeastern states of India through Bangladesh’s territory, an official said on Thursday.
An IOCL official said here that the MoU was signed following the Indian government’s request to ferry transport fuel and other petroleum products through Bangladesh’s territory when rail and road transportation gets disrupted during monsoon.
“The MoU was signed in Dhaka on Wednesday as an interim arrangement to facilitate urgent ferrying of petroleum products after damage to railway lines and highways due to rains or any other natural calamity,” the official said.
According to the proposed arrangement, petroleum tankers from Assam would go to Meghalaya and then to Tripura crossing through Bangladesh’s territory.
As per the MoU, the IOCL would bear all the administrative fees, charges and local taxes, including road usage fee, for the use of Bangladeshi territory and highways.
A few years ago also, transport fuel and other petroleum products were ferried to the northeastern states via Bangladesh when railway tracks and roads were badly damaged by heavy rains, floods and landslides.
Essentials and transport fuel can be ferried using the Dawki (Meghalaya)-Bangladesh-Kailashahar (Tripura) route.
Tripura and Mizoram had earlier approached the External Affairs Ministry to bring essential supplies and transport fuel via Bangladesh as the rail links had been cut off for over two months while the vital highways in Assam and Meghalaya were also damaged.
After over two months, the Northeast Frontier (NF) Railway, following the restoration of the damaged railway tracks, resumed passenger train services in the Lumding-Badarpur section in Assam on July 22, reconnecting Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur and the southern part of Assam with the rest of the country.
The freight train services were started on July 12 in the Lumding-Badarpur section via the Dima Hasao district.
In the hill section under the Lumding division, both passenger and freight train services were cancelled due to heavy rains and landslides on May 14.
The director of Tripura Food and Civil Supplies Department, Tapan Kumar Das, said on Thursday that currently there are sufficient stocks of fuel and essentials in the state.
“Rail service and road transportation are now normal between Tripura and other parts of the country,” he said.
The four-month-long Southwest monsoon season is expected to come to an end in September.