Vessels to transport cargo to northeast via Bangladesh

New Delhi, Aug 6 (IANS) India and Bangladesh have signed an agreement that will allow river sea vessels (RSVs) to transport cargo to India’s northeastern region via Bangladesh, Minister of State for Shipping P. Radhakrishnan said on Thursday.

“India has signed a bilateral Coastal Shipping Agreement with Bangladesh,” Radhakrishnan said in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha.

The agreement included movement of cargo through RSVs or equivalent-class vessels, he said.

“These vessels have lower technical and manning standards compared to foreign-going vessels and are more cost-effective without compromising on the safety of the vessel,” the minister said.

According to Radhakrishnan, the two countries will give the same treatment to each other’s vessels as each country gives to its own domestic vessels with respect to port dues and other charges.

He also clarified that the agreement only included merchant vessels and excluded warships, research vessels and fishing vessels, among others.

“The opening of coastal route between India and Bangladesh is expected to provide an alternative route for transportation of EXIM cargo as well as transit cargo to the northeastern parts of India,” the minister said.

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