Myanmar, Bangladesh, and India need mutual friendship in their national interest. Bangladesh's improved road and rail connectivity with India will open up new doors of trade and commerce.
The Ramgarh land port under construction in the Khagrachari district of Bangladesh's remote Chittagong Hill Tracts will play a positive role in the economic welfare of not only this region but the entire country. It can be a vital initiative for regional business and economic prosperity. The country's commercial capital Chittagong, a tourism city Cox's Bazar and Chittagong Hill Tracts inhabited by small ethnic groups and the seven states known as the "Seven Sisters" in the northeastern region of India will benefit from the use of this port. The Bangladesh-India friendly bond will become stronger through the development of trade and mutual relations.
Bangladesh's Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader virtually inaugurated the 38 km -long road widening and modernization work of the approach road to the port on May 24. The Bangladesh-India Friendship Bridge-1 connecting the two countries has already been inaugurated around this port on the river Feni. The immigration building is also ready.
The project will increase the width of the 38 km long road from 5.50 metres (18 feet) to 11.30 metres (38 feet). Apart from this, 9 bridges (249.20 m) and 23 culverts (108 m) will be constructed.
When the Ramgarh port's connection with India's Tripura state is fully operational, the people of Greater Chittagong will be able to go much easily and in a shorter time to Mymensingh and Sylhet by connecting to the Narsingdi-Moulvibazar road from Ramgarh through India. The usefulness of the Ramgarh land port will not be any less than that of Benapole land port in terms of economic importance and will usher in a new chapter in bilateral connectivity.
New vistas will open up
Once Ramgarh port is opened, India will be able to receive goods in less time and at less cost as Chittagong seaport is just 112 km away and transshipment to India will become that much easier. Road communication will be established with India's northeastern states through Tripura with Meghalaya, Assam, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.
Myanmar, Bangladesh, and India need mutual friendship in their national interest. Bangladesh's improved road and rail connectivity with India will open up new doors of trade and commerce. Bangladesh, therefore, wants friendship with India for the sake of its national development. Several investments in Bangladesh have come from India through the Line of Credit (LoC) route, including the Ramgarh road modernization.
Once this project is implemented, Chittagong and Dhaka will be connected with Sabrum in Tripura and Ramgarh in Khagrachari. The work is scheduled to be completed on December 31, 2024. Ashoka Buildcon Limited, an Indian contractor, has been given the task of constructing the road.
A new commercial corridor
Not only Chittagong seaport but also Chittagong airport can be used by Tripura residents. Ramgarh land port will be the new commercial corridor between the two countries.
Indian tourists will then find it easier to visit Cox's Bazar, one of the longest beaches in the world. Also, people from Chittagong and Chittagong Hill Tracts can easily visit Northeast India while India's trade with Myanmar's Rakhine and Chin provinces can be accelerated. The operationalization of Ramgarh land port will open up new horizons and will be a blessing for the people of the three countries.
(The author is a Gauhati University, India-based researcher and analyst. Views are personal. She can be contacted at email@example.com)