Staff Correspondent: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi have opened a bridge over the river Feni, a step in strengthening connectivity with India’s northeastern region.
The bridge, known as Maitree Shetu, is a testimony to Bangladesh’s continued commitment to support neighbouring India, Hasina said during the virtual inauguration of the bridge yesterday.
In 2010, the then chief minister of Tripura placed a proposal before Hasina to build a bridge over the river, pointing out that the bridge is important to the business community of India’s northeastern region for using the Chattogram seaport.
“We considered the request positively. Since then, the Government of Bangladesh has extended all necessary support to the Indian side for the construction of the bridge. Ten years later, yesterday, the bridge is a reality,” Hasina said.
The bridge has created a new era in South Asia by providing connectivity to India, she said.
“We are in a region that has remained conservative in opening up and where inter-regional trade is far below its potential. I believe political boundaries should not become physical barriers to trade.” Hasina expected that the inaugurated framework will also help Bangladesh to trade more easily not only with India, but with Nepal and Bhutan as well.
The bridge will be a “trading lifeline” for the northeastern states of India. Bangladesh has already opened the path for the use of Chattogram and Mongla ports for the movement of goods to and from India.
The bridge is expected to significantly improve the socio-economic condition of the people of Tripura and the surrounding northeastern states of India, said Hasina as she hoped it will also contribute to improving the livelihoods of those residing on the Bangladesh side of the bridge.
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