November 03, 2018: The State Government is emphasizing on international connectivity – both railways and airways as well as setting waterways for transport. Accordingly the State Government is working on project to connect two major rivers of the State – Gomati and Haora Rivers with Megna River of Bangladesh. Waterways will spur growth and lessen pressure in surface transport, said Transport Minister Pranajit Singha Roy of Tripura while addressing experts of NITI Aayog and delegates of other North Eastern States in “Chintan Shibir” in Agartala today. The event commenced from yesterday, was organized by the Tripura Government for preparing comprehensive roadmap for development of the State.
“While local trains from Agartala to Dharmanagar and Agartala to Santirbazar have considerable reduced travelling time – works are undergoing to expand the rail connectivity upto Sabroom – the southernmost part of the State. Once the entire project becomes operation, people will be able to travel from Sabroom to Northernmost Dharmanagar in local trains”, Pranajit Singha Roy said.
However, the Minister focused on international connectivity to optimize benefits once Tripura becomes ‘gateway’ of Northeast. He said, the State Government is working on setting up international connectivity through railways, waterways and airways. He mentioned about ongoing Agartala-Akhaura rail link connecting Agartala with Bangladesh and works for converting MBB Airport of Agartala to International airport.
On waterways, Singha Roy said, State Government is working on introducing waterways transport system by connecting Gomati and Haora Rivers of Tripura with Meghna River of Bangladesh. “Chief Minister Biplab Deb held discussions with the Union Minister Nitin Gadkari in New Delhi. Accordingly, Union secretary of Shipping visited the State to assess ground-level situation and feasibility”, Singha Roy said.
Meanwhile NITI Aayog experts too emphasized on importance of connectivity and challenges in maintaining roadways and railways in a hilly State like Tripura. Considering geo-political complexities of the State, maintenance of different modes of transportation needs serious planning, experts opined.
Outlining roadmap for development for Tripura, experts stressed on easy transport facilities to all parts of the State. Besides, experts highlighted well maintained connectivity with other North Eastern States, rest of the country and neighbouring countries.
However, setting up and maintaining different transport modes are not an easy task. According to the experts, the fragile geological condition of the State demands preparedness to tackle and overcome sudden landslides and other natural calamities. “Maintaining large track of roadways and railways promptly requires elaborate arrangements and it is a challenging task to restore transport and communication modes promptly. While seismic threats and vulnerable eco-system are posing major challenges, political situation in Bangladesh, is another crucial matter”, experts suggested and expressed concerned over lack of adequate resources for maintaining roadways and railways in the wake different types of challenges.