Tue, 31 January 2023
The Daily Ittefaq

Bangladesh: The key to India’s northeast

Update : 16 Jan 2023, 11:25

India and Bangladesh succeed in carrying their relationship to a new heights. Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar recently said that eastern and northeastern India have seen significant improvements over the past ten years as a border and region. And the reason for that is that India's relationship with Bangladesh has significantly improved.

India lately shown interest in developing and running an airport in Bangladesh. In order to upgrade and expand Agartala Airport, which is slated to become the third international airport near India's northeastern region by the end of this year or early next year, India needs a piece of Bangladeshi land in Brahmanbaria.

Once the project is completed, flights will operate between Agartala and Dhaka and other cities in Bangladesh such as Chattogram and Sylhet. 

Flights between Agartala and Dhaka, as well as other Bangladeshi cities including Chattogram and Sylhet, would resume after the project is finished.

The "Chicken's Neck" or Siliguri Corridor, a short stretch of Bangladeshi land that divides the entire northeastern region from the rest of India's Mainland, is also very significant for India. Agartala to Kolkata and New Delhi would be separated by 1,650 km and 2,637 km of Indian territory, respectively, if one were to set out on a voyage wholly on Indian soil. However, if one could bypass the corridor at that time, it would just be a 550 km trip from Agartala to Kolkata.

Since most of Bangladesh's major cities are 300 kilometers or less from northeastern India, Bangladesh plays a critical role in the region's connectivity by offering shortcuts on land and by river. As a result, Bangladesh has played a significant role in the development of India's northeastern states, particularly Assam and Tripura.

The expected date of the railway link between Agartala and Akhaura (Bangladesh) to be completed in June. When finished, it will run a 10.6-km line from Gangasagar, Bangladesh, to Nischintapur, India, and a 5.46-km track from Nischintapur to the Agartala railway station. The construction of the Agartala-Akhaura railway line would enhance trade links. Moreover, India intends to construct a combined freight screening and handling facility at Nischintapur, which is the junction point of the Agartala-Akhaura rail link at Tripura.

India and Bangladesh currently have four operational rail links between West Bengal and Western Bangladesh -- Petrapole-Benapole, Gede-Darshana, Radhikapur-Biral, and Singhabad-Rohanpur. 




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