Centre to bear 80 per cent cost of dredging work of Meghna river in Bangladesh side: Deb

Agartala, Feb 16 (PTI) The Centre has agreed to fund 80 per cent of the total cost for dredging work in river Meghna in Bangladesh side to operationalize the Indo-Bangla waterway connecting river Gomati, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb has said.

Of the 90-km stretch from Sonamura in Tripura’s Sepahijala district to Daudkandi in Bangladesh, around 40-km river bed is needed to be dredged in order to increase the water level.

“The Central government is ready to bear 80 per cent of total cost for dredging work on the Bangladesh side while the remaining part will have to be incurred by the host country , he told reporters after meeting with Union Ports, Shipping and Waterways Minister Sarbananda Sonawal here on Tuesday night.

Deb said the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways will undertake a hydrographic survey in two more rivers – Howrah and Deo – for effective flood management.

The Union Ministry has already sanctioned Rs 25 crore to build 10 floating jetties to be laid from Udaipur in Gomati district to Sonamura in Sepahijala district, he said, adding that the proposed waterway would prove handy for pushing the infrastructure development in Tripura.

“The cost of steel and cement is quite high in Tripura because of the high transportation charge. It will be reduced if construction materials are being transported through the Indo-Bangla waterway”, Deb said.

On the other hand, Dhaka will also benefit from the proposed waterway. “Substantial quantity of wheat is exported to Bangladesh through Tripura. The transportation cost will come down naturally if they use the waterway”, he said.

Earlier, a tripartite agreement was signed involving the Land Ports Authority of India (LPAI), Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and the state to handle day to day operation and maintenance of jetties or other facilities, said an official of LPAI here on Wednesday. PTI