Bangladesh & India agree to extend crucial Indo-Bangladesh Protocol route

  • January 9, 2024
  • News

India and Bangladesh agreed to extend the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) route, with Safardighi in West Bengal as the new port of call under the Protocol on Inland Water Transit Trade (PIWT&T), according to an official statement released on Friday.

As per the statement, three high-level talks were conducted between India and Bangladesh. These talks included shipping secretary-level talks that were held during the 22nd meeting of the standing committee under PIWT&T, and the 3rd meeting of the inter-governmental committee on the use of Chattogram and Mongla Ports for the movement of goods. The talks were successfully concluded in Dhaka.

During the recent talks, various issues related to seafarers were discussed. These included making it easier to obtain visas, providing shore leave facilities, and improving the repatriation process. A joint committee will be formed to implement a common Automatic Identification System (AIS) on the IBP route. This system will improve vessel navigation and tracking.

It was agreed that the Mongla-Jamtola stretch would be included for passenger and cruise vessels to visit the Sunderbans area in Bangladesh. Both sides agreed to examine the inclusion of Payra seaport in the agreement on the use of Chattogram and Mongla Ports (ACMP) for the movement of goods between the two countries.

The Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route and Coastal routes are shared by both countries for the transportation of cargo and passengers. These routes are important as they provide an alternative connectivity option to the northeast through Bangladesh.