In news– Recently, the Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways has received a cargo vessel carrying 200 metric tonnes of food grains from Patna, Bihar to Pandu, Assam that traversed 2350 kilometers through the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol route.
About Indo Bangladesh Protocol Route-
- India and Bangladesh have a long standing and time-tested Protocol on Transit and Trade through inland waterways of both countries.
- This Protocol, which was first signed in 1972 (immediately after independence of Bangladesh), is a reflection of shared history and friendship between the two countries.
- It was last renewed in 2015 for five years with a provision for its automatic renewal for a further period of five years giving long term assurance to various stakeholders.
- There are around 10 routes under Indo Bangladesh Protocol (IBP).
- The protocol route uses NW-1 (Ganga) as well as NW-2 (Brahmaputra) on the Indian side.
- Presently, there are six Ports of Call each in India and Bangladesh under the Protocol.
- Five more Ports of Call and two more extended Ports of Call have been added, increasing the number to eleven Ports of Call and two extended Ports of Call in each country .
- Under this Protocol, Inland vessels of both the countries can ply on the designated protocol route and dock at Ports of Call in each country, notified for loading/unloading of cargo.
- There has been significant improvement in the movement of cargo vessels in an organized manner on the Protocol route carrying both the transit cargo to the North East(NE) region of India and vice-versa and export-cargo to Bangladesh.
- The Indian transit cargo is mainly coal, fly-ash, POL and ODC for power projects in the NE region.
- The other potential cargo for movement is fertilizers, cement, food grains, agricultural products, containerized cargo etc.