LPG bulk tankers to ply via Bangladesh

Agartala, Dec 30 (IANS) Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) will carry LPG bulk tankers through Bangladesh for its proposed new bottling plant in Tripura, a minister said on Wednesday.

“For easier transportation of LPG bulk tankers from outside the state for the proposed LPG bottling plant, the IOC would ferry bulk tankers using Bangladeshi ports and roads,” Tripura Food and Civil Supplies Minister Bhanulal Saha told reporters here.

The state-owned Food Corporation of India (FCI) has earlier ferried 35,000 tonnes of rice from Andhra Pradesh and Kolkata to Tripura via Bangladesh.

Several ships carried rice to Ashuganj river port in Bangladesh. From Ashuganj port, Bangladeshi trucks ferried the rice to FCI warehouses in Nandannagar in Agartala.

Transportation via Bangladesh is much easier as road connectivity is a major issue for the mountainous northeastern states which share boundaries with Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan and China.

There is only a narrow land corridor to the northeastern region through Assam and West Bengal but this route passes through hilly terrain with steep gradients and multiple hairpin bends, making plying of vehicles, especially loaded trucks, very difficult.

Agartala via Guwahati is 1,650 km from Kolkata by road and 2,637 km from New Delhi, while the distance between Agartala and Kolkata via Bangladesh is just about 620 km.

Earlier in 2012, Bangladesh had allowed state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation to ferry heavy machinery, turbines and over-dimensional cargoes through Ashuganj port for the 726-MW Palatana mega power project in southern Tripura.

The minister said: “The IOC would set up a LPG bottling plants in Bodhjungnagar industrial estate (25 km from Agartala) in western Tripura to meet the growing crisis of cooking gas in Tripura.”

He said the proposed bottling plant would produce 18,000 LPG cylinders per day.

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