Three rice-loaded Bangladeshi trucks entered India through the Akhaura integrated check post Thursday afternoon in the presence of Food Corporation of India (FCI) and Tripura government officials.
"For the first time, Bangladeshi trucks transported rice from Ashuganj port in Bangladesh directly to the FCI warehouse at Nandannagar...," FCI general manager Bidol Tayeng told IANS.
Food Corporation of India expects huge savings in time and money after Bangladesh allowed the use of its Ashuganj river port. At Ashuganj, the consignment will be loaded into Bangladesh trucks that will take it straight into FCI godowns in Tripura.
Tripura transport minister Manik De thanked Bangladesh for allowing the use of its waterways, pointing out that it had cut down the distance from 1650km to 350km.
Earlier, such consignments had to travel through the so-called chicken's neck in north Bengal to Lumding in Assam via broad gauge railway line, and then transhipped into the narrow gauge to Tripura.
The ministry of external affairs had given its clearance for the movement of Bangladeshi trucks up to Agartala, and truck scanners had been installed at the Akhaura checkpost.
Earlier, Bangladesh allowed Oil & Natural Gas Corp to carry over-dimensional machines for the Palatana mega power project in Gomati district by using the waterways and roadways of Bangladesh, FCI officials said.
PTI & IANS