Connecting North-eastern states via Bangladesh
The government is working on a plan to set up a waterway freight corridor to connect the mainland with the northeastern states via Bangladesh at a cost of `5,000 crore. The move would substantially reduce the cost and time taken to transport goods to the eight North-eastern states. The proposed 900km waterway would be used to transport freight from the northern and eastern states to the northeast and would start near Haldia in West Bengal, go to the Sundarbans, merge into the Padma river in Bangladesh and then join up with the Brahmaputra in Assam. Currently, highway connectivity to the northeastern states is patchy and transportation of goods by road entails a high cost and takes time. According to the ministry’s estimate, the waterway could help reduce the cost of transportation by about 70 per cent.