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India mulls possibility to give Bangladesh access to west coast ports

Monday, 22 Jul 2019
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India is mulling possibility of giving Bangladesh access to the west coast ports of JNPT or Mundra, which can receive large mother vessels. The ports are located a little over 2,000 km away from Dhaka.

The connectivity will come at no extra cost, as a series of rail-link projects are under implementation between India and Bangladesh. Moreover, Dhaka is building a bridge over Padma river.

Bangladesh now ships its exports, mostly garments, by daughter vessels through Chittagong port to Colombo, Singapore or Port of Klang for transshipment to mother vessels. But the entire process is time-consuming with cost implications.

India has already offered Bangladesh the right to use Kolkata port in exchange for Bangladesh granting the North-East region access to Chittagong port. But it may not be able to solve the long-term problems of Dhaka, as Kolkata, being a river port cannot draw large vessels.

Apart from this, India is building three ports, including the proposed USD four billion Vizhinjam port by Adani Group, to attract transshipment traffic from Colombo or Klang.

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