India-Bangladesh bridge to get operational by September, giving NE access to Bay of Bengal – ET Infra

India’s landlocked Northeast is set to get a crucial connectivity link to the Bay of Bengal with the opening of the long-awaited Bangladesh-India friendship bridge, known as Maitri Setu, by September.

The bridge was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina virtually in March 2021.

Modi and Hasina had a brief interaction at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on Sunday night after the swearing-in ceremony of Modi 3.0. Hasina is expected to return for an official visit later in June or July.

The Bangladesh PM along with six other leaders from India’s immediate neighbourhood and Indian Ocean Region were invited for the inauguration ceremony.

Maitri Setu connects Bangladesh with Tripura giving northeastern states access to ports in Bay of Bengal. The bridge was built over the Feni river which flows between Bangladesh and Tripura. The 1.9-km-long bridge connects Ramgarh in Bangladesh with Sabroom in India. It was built by National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd at a project cost of Rs. 133 crore.

Cargo movement through the bridge is seen as strategically important as Bangladesh’s Chittagong port is just 80km from Tripura’s Sabroom.

“The Maitri Setu has already been inaugurated. The land port is almost ready… The movement of passengers through the bridge will commence in September. It will take two or three months to introduce goods movement after passenger movement gets underway,” Tripura industries and commerce department secretary Kiran Gitte said at a press conference in Agartala on Friday.

Meanwhile, India will also assist in the transit of electricity from Bhutan to Bangladesh. Hasina reiterated Bangladesh’s eagerness to import hydroelectricity from Bhutan through India when the visiting Bhutanese prime minister Dasho Tshering Tobgay paid a courtesy call on her on Sunday in New Delhi.

“Import of hydroelectricity will require a tripartite agreement involving India, and we have already brought the matter to their (India’s) attention,” she told Tobgay.

  • Published On Jun 11, 2024 at 08:47 AM IST

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