Kolkata port authority in India has decided to undertake four trial runs before the implementation of an agreement on the use of Bangladesh's Chattogram and Mongla ports for trade.
The initiative will help boost business flow on inland waterways via the Indo-Bangla Protocol route, he said.
The decision to conduct trial runs was taken after the 13th India-Bangladesh Joint Group of Customs (JSC) meeting held in March, reports PTI Sunday (29 July) citing an official of the Kolkata port.
It was also decided that ships can carry cargo for both Bangladesh and the north-eastern states of India.
"We have been asked to undertake trial runs and it has to be completed within six months. All destinations are in Bangladesh," port authority chairman Vinit Kumar said.
The trials will be undertaken on the following routes — Mongla-Tamabil, Tamabil-Chattogram, Chattogram-Sheola and Mongla-Bibirbazar.
"Transit cargo for trial run on Mongla-Tamabil and Mongla-Bibirbazar (land port in Cumilla) routes will depart Kolkata on July 30," the official said.
Maersk Line India has partnered with Kolkata port to do these two trial runs, he said.
"The vessel is expected to reach Mongla on 5 August, carrying 16 tons of iron pipes of Electrosteel Castings Ltd in a container destined to reach Meghalaya using Tamabil-Dawki border points, and 8.5-ton prefoam in another container for Assam using Bibirbazar-Srimantpur border points," the Kolkata port official said.
An agreement and standard operating procedure on the use of Chattogram and Mongla ports for the movement of goods to and from India have been signed by the two countries.