'B'desh must grant port transit facilities to India' | world | Hindustan Times
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'B'desh must grant port transit facilities to India'

world Updated: Mar 19, 2008 11:13 IST

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Bangladesh should grant transit facilities to India through the Chittagong sea port as it will "significantly" improve the country's economy and reduce dependence on foreign aid, Indian High Commissioner Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty has said.

"If Bangladesh gives transit to India (through Chittagong Port), it will boost Bangladesh's economy and significantly reduce foreign aid dependence," Chakravarty said after visiting a trade fair in Chittagong yesterday, according to media reports.

India had asked Bangladesh for the transit facilities long ago and is still awaiting a reply from Dhaka, he said.

Bangladesh's Communications Ministry had earlier expressed its reservations about India's request for allowing transport of heavy equipment for power plants from Kolkata to Tripura via Bangladesh, saying the road infrastructure was not suitable for such transit.

"The roads and bridges, due to their present conditions, cannot bear the loads of such heavy equipment," the ministry had said in a letter to India.

Analysts have said the long standing issue was a political "hot potato" in Bangladesh as subsequent regimes preferred to sit on the matter largely because of "political considerations".