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Routes via Myanmar, Bangladesh could transform Asia: EAM Jaishankar


Dec 31, 2010

Routes via Myanmar, Bangladesh could transform Asia: EAM Jaishankar​

Kangkan Kalita | TNN | Updated: May 29, 2022, 09:12 IST
External affairs minister S Jaishankar addressed the Asian Confluence River Conclave, NADI-3, in Guwahati on Saturday. (PTI)

GUWAHATI: India can overcome geography and rewrite history "if only we get the policies and the economics right", foreign minister S Jaishankar said on Saturday while highlighting how land connectivity through Myanmar and sea connectivity through Bangladesh on a commercial scale could open up "a world all the way to Vietnam and Philippines, from Haiphong to Hazira, and Manila to Mundra".

If this works out, it would "create an east-west lateral with sweeping benefits for the continent", Jaishankar said at the two-day Nadi 3 Asian Confluence River Conclave that started in the Assam capital.

"This will not only build on the partnerships that we have with the Asean countries and Japan, but would actually make a difference to the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework that is now in the making."

The starting point, Jaishankar said, would be enhancing connectivity with Bangladesh, especially with the neighbouring northeast, and the restoration of six historical cross-border rail links, dormant since 1965. "Once operational, the Shahabazpur (Bangladesh) to Mahishasan
(Assam) link will be extended within Bangladesh and connected to the Kuluara-Shahbazpur rail line that is currently being modernised."

Inaugurated in December 2020, the Chilahati-Haldibari (West Bengal) line will further enhance Assam's connectivity to Bangladesh through New Jalpaiguri, including passenger traffic, the foreign minister said.

A rail link between Akhaura (Bangladesh) to Agartala (Tripura) is being developed, which Jaishankar said had already resulted in increased trade between India and Bangladesh.

The minister pinned high hopes on negotiations to operationalise the BBIN Motor Vehicle Agreement to ensure seamless vehicular movement between the neighbours. "Inside Bangladesh, India is collaborating on a series of road projects, including improving the Ashuganj River Port-Akhaura Land Port Road under a line of credit worth more than $400 million. A road project connecting Baruerhat to Ramgarh on the India-Bangladesh border in Tripura is also being implemented under another an LoC of $80.06 million," he said.

Jaishankar said the intricate and intertwined cross-border geography was being synergised by agreements on movement of goods from Indian ports through the Chittagong and Mongla ports in Bangladesh, and from there overland to Tripura and other parts of the northeast.

He said the success of four border haats involving India and Bangladesh in the period before the pandemic had encouraged the Centre to start work on nine more haats — three in Meghalaya, four in Tripura and two in Assam.

"Cross-border power transmission lines and digital connectivity infrastructure offer additional dimensions of connectivity. Today, 1,160MW are already being supplied and 1,500MW more are in the pipeline… The international gateway between Agartala and Cox's Bazar is helping provide faster Internet access and broadband services in Tripura."

Jaishankar said the emerging collaborative regional economy also includes Nepal and Bhutan. "A road connecting Sikkim with Nepal via the Chiwa Bhanjyang border is also under construction as part of India's border area development programme. With its completion, Sikkim will have access to Nepal's East-West Highway, with a boost to trade and tourism in both countries."



Feb 4, 2022
They will be big on talk - but low on action! This has been seen for seventy some years.... :lol:

They don't understand the words, "Felo Kori - Makho Tel".....
While BD builds roads with own hard earned money, India wanna use BD roads for connectivity with northeast and Myanmar, toll free!
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Feb 4, 2014
United States
While BD builds roads with own hard earned money, India wanna use BD roads for connectivity with northeast and Myanmar, toll free!

This has been their Modus Operandi from day one....

Get maximum benefit with minimal (or even zero) investments.

BSNL still owes many millions of dollars to Bangladesh govt. for bandwidth arrears.

Examples like this abound.
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