Indo-Bangla Air Connectivity Expected to Commence Soon in Tripura

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Tripura Transport Minister Sushanta Chowdhury is hopeful that Indo-Bangla air connectivity will soon commence through Tripura, as he reviewed the progress of his department. Chowdhury expressed his optimism that flight connectivity between Agartala and Chittagong in Bangladesh will begin soon. He stated that the state government would spend Rs 15 crores annually to subsidize 50% of the operational cost shortfall in the first three years of operation, as viable gap funding.

Meanwhile, Development of Northeastern Region Minister GK Reddy announced that the Indo-Bangla railway connectivity project at the Agartala-Akhaura frontier is in an advanced stage of work. The ambitious connectivity projects between India and Bangladesh are in the pipeline in Tripura, with some already commissioned. Among major projects, the Indo-Bangla Maitri Setu at South Tripura and inland waterways connectivity with Bangladesh at Sepahijala district are already commissioned.

An Indo-Bangla railway connectivity project linking Agartala and Kolkata via Dhaka is in an advanced stage of work and is expected to be completed this year. The state government had earlier approved a proposal to start international flights with Bangladesh, and three flights will fly between Chittagong in Bangladesh and Agartala every week, with ticket prices at Rs 4,500 per passenger. While the state government clarified that a survey on passenger preferences and fund requirements was conducted to decide on the destination, flights to other popular destinations like Dhaka, Bangkok, Singapore, and Malaysia would be started in the future if authorities observe demand among passengers.

Chowdhury also stated that he would visit Delhi to hold meetings with the Ministry of Civil Aviation to discuss existing problems and take required steps to solve them, ensuring that the international airport is equipped with the required facilities. The Japanese government recently held a connectivity conclave at Agartala, proposing larger trade, commerce, and passenger movement prospects in the Bay of Bengal region with NE India, Bangladesh, and the Japan-funded Matarbari deep sea port in Bangladesh, putting Tripura in a strategic location on a larger connectivity map.

The Indo-Bangla Maitri Setu at South Tripura is an important infrastructure project that will enhance connectivity, and the inland waterways connectivity with Bangladesh at Sepahijala district will boost transportation between the two countries. The railway connectivity project between Agartala and Kolkata via Dhaka is a significant development that will improve access between India and Bangladesh. The proposed air connectivity between Agartala and Chittagong in Bangladesh will also boost trade and commerce between the two nations.

The government’s commitment to subsidizing the operational cost shortfall in the first three years of operation is a significant boost to the project’s viability. The state government’s decision to conduct a survey on passenger preferences and fund requirements before deciding on the destination is a step in the right direction. If the authorities observe passenger demand, flights to other popular destinations like Dhaka, Bangkok, Singapore, and Malaysia may be started in the future.

Chowdhury’s visit to Delhi to hold meetings with the Ministry of Civil Aviation to discuss existing problems and take required steps to solve them is a positive move. The Japanese government’s proposal for larger trade, commerce, and passenger movement prospects in the Bay of Bengal region with NE India, Bangladesh, and the Japan-funded Matarbari deep sea port in Bangladesh highlights Tripura’s strategic location on a larger connectivity map. Overall, these connectivity projects are expected to boost trade, commerce, and tourism between India and Bangladesh, benefitting both nations.

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