Pranab for better Indo-Bangla ties

By IANS, September 11, 2012

Agartala: President Pranab Mukherjee has assured Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar that he will utilise his office to improve connectivity between India and Bangladesh, officials said here Tuesday.

The all-important possible connectivity between India and Bangladesh was discussed between Sarkar and Mukherjee when the former called on the president at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi Monday.

“The president has assured Sarkar to do whatever he can in his present role for improving connectivity between India and Bangladesh. Expansion of connectivity is very essential for the mountainous northeastern region,” an official told reporters.

The official said: “The president has accepted the invitation of the Tripura chief minister to visit the state.”

The northeastern states have been for a long time demanding transit facilities to ferry goods via Bangladesh from the other parts of India and abroad using the neighbouring country’s rail, road and sea and river ports.

India’s northeastern states are surrounded by Bangladesh, Myanmar, Bhutan and China. The only land route access to these states from within India is through Assam. But this route passes through hilly terrain with steep roads and multiple hairpin bends resulting in huge time-cost and massive spending.