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Railway better option for transit for India: experts

Senior correspondent |
Update: 2010-07-20 23:59:04
Railway better option for transit for India: experts

DHAKA: Railway would be a better option for India compared to roadway if Bangladesh allows transit facilities for

transportation of goods towards North-Eastern States (NES) known as seven sisters, experts told a seminar.

They opined that Bangladesh-India partnership in transit would be beneficial for both the neighbours.

However, Bangladesh will have to move forward cautiously, considering security concerns, as the landlocked NES face

prolonged insurgencies.

“Railways are better option as it can carry a large amount of goods at a time. It has low accidents rate and pilferage. It

is also environment-friendly, cost-effective and basic railway infrastructures already exist,” said KAS Murshid, Research

Director of Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS), at the seminar.  

BIDS organized the seminar on ‘India, Bangladesh and the North East: Transit and Transshipment-Strategic Considerations’

with Director-General of the autonomous development-research outfit Dr. M Asaduzzamanin in the chair at the CIRDAP

auditorium.

Commerce Minister Mohammad Faruk Khan, who was present at the seminar, said Bangladesh can be benefited by strengthening

relationship with India’s landlocked northeast.

KAS Murshid proposed an exclusion list that will prevent transportation of arms and ammunition, explosives, drugs and other

items deemed to be a threat to national security. There should be modern scanning system as well, he said.

Farooq Sobhan, President of Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI), said transit would provide access to Bangladeshi products

not only to NES but also to Nepal and Bhutan in the near future.

Dr. Imtiaz Ahmed, professor of International Relations of Dhaka University, said, “Transit may be a golden opportunity for

us if we can handle it.”

Manjur Ahmed, consultant of FBCCI, said Bangladesh should not allow transit to India for products that would harm

Bangladesh’s products.

BDST: 1710 HRS. JU

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