Tripura wants improved connectivity with Bangladesh

Agartala/New Delhi, April 7 ( The Tripura government has asked the centre to improve air and surface connectivity between northeast India and Bangladesh to boost trade and people-to-people contacts, officials here said Wednesday.

Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and Finance Minister Badal Choudhury met Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia in New Delhi Tuesday. The state’s annual plan allocation of Rs.1,860 for 2010-11 was finalised at the meeting.

“Tripura chief minister has asked the planning commission deputy chairman to take necessary steps with the centre to introduce a direct flight between Agartala and Dhaka and develop the national highways in the northeast to get access of the Chittagong international port in Bangladesh,” a senior official told reporters.

The Bangladesh government has agreed to allow India to use the Chittagong port, about 75 km from Tripura’s southern town Sabroom.

Sarkar said the centre should constitute a dedicated committee to closely monitor the implementation of the India-Bangladesh agreements signed during Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit in January.

He said all the four districts of Tripura be covered under the Backward Regions Grant Fund (BRGF), which provides financial resources for supplementing and converging existing developmental inflows in the backward districts.

He also asked for development of the cargo handling facilities in Agartala airport to support the growing food processing industry in the state.