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B’desh ready to reconnect old linkages with India: Karim
Correspondent SHILLONG, APR 10:
Published on 11 Apr. 2010 12:48 AM IST
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Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Tariq Ahmed Karim has underlined the need to reopen all old linkages between Bangladesh and India.
“Bangladesh is ready to help not only to reconnect India’s northeastern states with the rest of the mainland India, but also enable Nepal and Bhutan to gain access to the sea, and enable India reach Myanmar and Thailand overland through easy terrain,” he said.
The Bangladeshi envoy was delivering a talk at the two-day international conference on ‘From Landlocked to Land-built: North East India in BIMSTEC’ at the North East Hill University here.
Bangladesh, he said has taken some unprecedented initiatives and is in very happy position of being able to offer itself as a gateway this region.
“We are ready and willing to help to reconnect not only India’s Northeast States to the rest of India, but also enable Nepal and Bhutan to gain access to sea, while to Thailand and Myanmar through easy terrain,” Karim said.
Informing that Bangladesh is eager to serve as the hub of regional linkages --- road, air, rail and riverine, he said Bangladesh and India has agreed to restore historic linkages.
“Ashuganj (Bangladesh) and Silghat (India) has been added as new ports. These ports is meant that goods destined for the North East and beyond will be able to reach their destination much more quickly,” he said.
He said Bangladesh has decided to allow Nepal and Bhutan to use Chittagong and Mongla ports to facilitate sea-going access for the land-locked BIMSTEC with Sri Lanka and Thailand.
Emphasising on reconnecting the old rail links in the North Eastern States, Karim said the Prime Ministers of India and Bangladesh decided to make Rohanpur-Singabad railway link available for transit to Nepal and conversion of Radhikapur-Birol railway line into broad gauge for connectivity with Bhutan.
“Similar options are being explored for reopening the railway links between Kolkata and the Northeast through the North West of Bangladesh,” the Bangladesh envoy informed.
Considering the possibility of extending the existing Dhaka-Kolkata and Dhaka-Agartala to Shillong and Guwahati, Karim said that Bangladesh was said Bangladesh was vigorously pursuing the possibility of establishing new air routes from North East to Dhaka and beyond.
On reopening of the traditional border haats along the Indo-Bangla border, the Bangladesh envoy said a significant forward move has been made, and three locations has been identified for establishing the haats in Sonarghat (Bangladesh)- Lyngkhat (India), Baliamari (Bangladesh)-Kalaichar (India) and Narayantala (Bangladesh)-Balat (India).
“The officials will be meeting soon to finalise the modalities for functioning of these border haats soon,” Karim said.

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