BJP Rajya Sabha member and former Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Tuesday urged the government to operationalise the double-lane Feni bridge, which was jointly inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina on March 9 last year.
Speaking in the upper house of the Parliament, he said that the bridge would facilitate the easy connectivity to utilise Bangladesh’s Chittagong sea port to boost trade and economy between the country and northeastern states of India.
“Though there is a Land Custom Station on the Indian side along the Feni bridge, but the Bangladesh government has yet to set up the LCS on their side. Tripura government has already taken up the matter with the External Affairs Ministry,” he said.
He said that the Bangladesh government already agreed to allow the northeastern states to utilise the Chittagong and Mongla ports, but these could not be possible unless the Feni bridge became operational.
The 1.9-km-long bridge, built at a cost of Rs 133 crore over river Feni along southern Tripura, is the most significant venture to link India and Bangladesh by road and to access the Chittagong port from India’s northeastern states.
With the use of the Chittagong and Mongla sea ports, the distance between Tripura and Kolkata ports would be reduced to less than 100 km from the existing 1,600 km through Meghalaya and Assam.
The Feni bridge has connected India’s border town of Sabroom in southern Tripura with Ramgarh in Bangladesh.
Sabroom, 135 km south of Agartala, is 72 km by road from the Chittagong.