The Sonamura-Daudkandi inland waterways protocol route connecting Tripura to Bangladesh would be made operational on September 5 in the presence of Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, an official said on Friday.
The 90-km long Sonamura-Daudkandi route, included in the list of Indo-Bangla protocol (IBP) routes in May this year, is expected to boost trade.
Director of Land Port Authority of India (LPAI) Ajit Kumar Singh, who visited the spot on Friday, said that a barge carrying goods would arrive at Sonamura.
The Chief Minister would be present at Sonamura in Sipahijala district on the occasion, he said.
“A floating jetty was constructed just near the integrated check post. The place is beautiful, which has also the potential to be developed as a good tourist spot. At present barges carrying goods would come and later tourists from both the countries can come by using the waterways,” he told PTI.
Another official said, the trial run would begin from September 2.
A barge carrying 50 tons of cement would reach the newly constructed jetty from Daudkandi in Comilla district in Bangladesh.
On August 25 last, Mr Deb had said in a Facebook post, “…. The trial run is scheduled in the first week of September 2020, during which 50 MT cement will be transported in barges from Dhaka to Sonamura. This is for the first time in history that any kind of goods will be reaching Tripura by ship..”
The Chief Minister said that the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority has given permission for trial run from Daundkandi in Comilla district of the neighbouring country to Sonamura in Tripura via River Gomati.
The northeastern state had set up a floating jetty on the river on July 4 as part of the Indo-Bangla international inland waterways connectivity project.
Traders of India and Bangladesh had demanded a trial run of vessels on the Gomati river this month to operationalise the Indo-Bangla protocol route between Sonamura and Daudkandi, officials said.
A high-level team of officials of the Bangladesh Shipping Ministry had surveyed the riverine protocol route on August 12, Sonamura sub-divisional magistrate Subrata Majumder said.
“Of the 90-km stretch, around 89.5-km is in the neighbouring country,” he said.
Gomati is a seasonal river and the water route can remain operational for only 3-4 months in a year and silts should be lifted on regular basis from the Gomati to keep the route operational, Mr Singh said.