Bangladesh welcomed ‘MV Nou Kollan-1’, the first container ship from India at Pangaon Inland Container Terminal in Keraniganj. In 2015, a Coastal Shipping Agreement was signed between the two countries, permitting direct transportation of cargo vessel across the borders. India has termed this alliance as a ‘welcome development’.
This step will greatly enhance the connectivity between India and Bangladesh as the commuting time will get reduced from 30-40 days to 4-10 days.
Dignitaries like Secretary, Ministry of Shipping, Bangladesh- Ashoke Madhab Roy, Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid and Vice Chairman of Beximco Group Salman F Rahman graced the event of unloading 65 containers carried by the ship.
Speaking on the event, Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan said, “The container movement operation from India to Bangladesh will be continued to considerably save on both time and cost.”
He further added, “Buyers from India and overseas will be benefited following the operation of the Pangaon Container Terminal. We will set up booths of several banks in conjunction with Sonali Bank for providing banking facilities to business entities.”
Welcoming the arrival of the container ship operated by Riverline Logistics & Transport Ltd. Indian High Commissioner to Dhaka Harsh Vardhan Shringla said, “For the first time in history, Bangladesh has welcomed a cargo ship from India; it is indeed an iconic date.”
“With this agreement, now cargo ships can easily commute between Dhaka and Kolkata in just 3-4 days. This will prove to be a cost-effective and quicker mode of transportation of goods. Also, it will greatly decongest the roads and land custom stations through which majority of the bilateral trade takes place currently,” said Salman F Rahman.
The first cargo vessel under this alliance had sailed from Chittagong to Vishakhapatnam in March 2016.