The first-ever cargo ship from Bhutan, which arrived at Narayanganj on July 16 carrying stone aggregates through the Indo-Bangladesh protocol route, was formally received on Thursday, reports BSS.
Indian High Commissioner Riva Ganguly Das, Ambassador of Bhutan Sonam T Rabgye and Vice Chairman of Basundhara Group Safwan Sobhan received the first-ever consignment at Narayanganj, an Indian High Commission press release said here.
The ship, MV AAI of the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) was digitally flagged off by Shri Mansukh Mandaviya, Indian Minister of State for Shipping on 12 July.
The ship sailed from Assam’s Dhubri, declared a port of call in October 2018, and travelled to Narayanganj in Bangladesh, over the river Brahmaputra. This is the first time an Indian waterway is being used as a channel for transport of cargo between the two countries, using India for transit.
The stone aggregates were transported by trucks from Phuentsholing in Bhutan which is 160 KMs from IWAI’s Dhubri jetty in Assam. Till now, Bhutan has been exporting significant quantity of stone aggregates to Bangladesh through the land route.
The ship is carrying 1000 MT of stones – over 50 trucks would be required to transport the same cargo by road. Indian Minister of State for Shipping, Mandaviya said that the development is a historic one. He said that the move will be beneficial to India, Bhutan and Bangladesh, and that it will strengthen relations between the neighboring countries.
Mandaviya noted that transport of cargo through this route will cut short travel time by eight to 10 days, and reduce transportation cost by 30 percent, bringing down logistics costs.