India and Bangladesh Agree Cruise, Cargo Initiatives
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that aims to boost cruise passenger services along the coastal routes between India and Bangladesh.
“The operationalization of this MOU will promote people to people contact and cooperation between the two countries in respect of economic, social and cultural advancement,” said Modi in a statement. “It will also generate employment opportunities for the people of India and Bangladesh.”
The agreement comes during a visit to India by Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
An MoU was also approved for dredging of the Ashuganj-Zakiganj stretch of the Kushiyara River and the Sirajganj-Daikhawa stretch of Jamuna River. This is expected to facilitate cargo movement to North Eastern India and reduce congestion through the Siliguri Chicken’s Neck corridor, a narrow stretch of land, located in the Indian state of West Bengal, that connects India's north-eastern states to the rest of the nation, with Nepal and Bangladesh lying on either side of the corridor.
Last month, the Indian Cabinet approved an MOU for greater cooperation ono marine aids to navigation that includes lighthouses, beacons and vessel traffic service.
Other agreements signed so far during Hasina’s visit cover health, mass media and judicial sector cooperation. Over 30 agreements are expected to be signed during her four-day visit. The deals include expansion of bilateral trade and investments, cooperation in the energy sector, distribution and management of water of common river and prevention of the illegal trade of drugs and human trafficking.
The Siliguri Corridor is the strip of Indian territory within the red highlighted circle.