India and Bangladesh on Thursday signed three agreements, including one to use Chittagong and Mongla Ports in Bangladesh for goods movement and for enhancing inland and coastal waterways connectivity between the two countries.
The two countries also signed a standard operating procedure (SOP) for movement of passenger and cruise services.
An addendum to Protocol was also signed on Inland Water Transit and Trade (PIWTT) for inclusion of Dhubri in India and Pangaon in Bangladesh as new ports of call.
During the secretary level talks in New Delhi on Thursday headed by Shipping Secretary Gopal Krishna and his Bangladesh counterpart Md Abdus Samad, the two sides also finalized the SOP for movement of passengers and cruise vessels on inland protocol route and coastal shipping routes which would enable river cruise services between Kolkata-Dhaka-Guwahati-Jorhat and back.
These agreements are bound to facilitate easier movement of goods and passengers between the two countries, giving an impetus to trade and tourism.
The two countries had also arrived at an agreement to open a new route to land-locked Tripura by making Gomti and Haora rivers navigable for which dredging would be required in 20 kms on Indian side and 75-80 kms in Bangladesh side.
Prior to the secretary-level talks, the 19th edition of the Standing Committee meeting under ‘Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade’ (PIWTT) between high-level delegations of the two countries were held on Wednesday