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In Sarbananda Sonowal wish list for PM Modi, a hard push on plans for 2 Bangladesh ports

The Northeastern states have been asking the Centre to expedite talks with Dhaka as it will bring down transportation costs drastically

india Updated: Jun 12, 2019 22:01 IST
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Assam CM,PM Modi,Sarbananda Sonowal
In another demand, Sonowal asked PM Modi to help expedite the construction of the Asian Trilateral Highway from Thailand’s Mae Sot to Manipur’s Moreh via Myanmar. (Photo: PMO India)

Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Wednesday asked PM Narendra Modi to expedite the bilateral agreement with Bangladesh which will grant the Northeastern states access to Chittagong and Mongla ports in the neighbouring country to boost trade in the seven states.

Talks to open up these ports to trade from the Northeastern states have been ongoing for a while, and subsequently the Bangladesh Cabinet passed a resolution to grant access in September last year. However, a pact is yet to be inked between the two governments.

The Northeastern states have been asking the Centre to expedite talks with Dhaka as it will bring down transportation costs drastically. This will also help trade from the region reach out to other parts of India. Apart from Assam, in Tripura, too, India is building a 15-km long railway line connecting Agartala and Bangladesh’s Akhaura near Chittagong port.

Sonowal also asked PM Modi to help expedite the construction of the Asian Trilateral Highway from Thailand’s Mae Sot to Manipur’s Moreh via Myanmar. Sonowal said that it will go a long way in restoring trade links between the Northeast states and ASEAN countries and will also give a strong push to the Centre’s Act East Policy.

During their meeting, the first after Modi took over as PM for the second time, Sonowal also urged the revival of the flood management programme (FMP) and to include ‘river erosion’ is not included in the guidelines of the National and State Disaster Response Forces (NDRF/SDRF). “Sonowal also made it clear that Assam is one of the most disaster-prone states in India. Apart from flood being a major problem, river bank erosion also poses serious damage to the socio-economic scenario of the State,” a release from the office of the chief minister stated.

First Published: Jun 12, 2019 21:54 IST