While inaugurating Maitri Setu bridge built on River Feni on Tuesday, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina lauded India for “building a prosperous region together”.
“50 years ago, in 1971, India opened up its border for Bangladesh’s people to support their freedom struggle; today we are building a prosperous region together. I wish successful operation and utilisation of the Feni Maitri Setu,” said Hasina while inaugurating the bridge alongside Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi via video conferencing.
“It’s my immense pleasure to inaugurate the Maitri Setu today together with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The event is taking place at a time when we are celebrating the birth centenary of Father of the Nation – Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence, and the 50th year of India-Bangladesh diplomatic relations,” she said.
The Feni Maitri Setu is expected to improve the socio-economic condition of the people of Tripura and the surrounding north-eastern states of India and will also contribute to improving the livelihoods of those residing on the Bangladesh side of the bridge.
Meanwhile, PM Modi said that connectivity is not only strengthening friendship between India and Bangladesh but also proving to be a strong link for business.
He said rail and water connectivity projects that have been realized in the recent years have been strengthened with the inauguration of the bridge.
“Due to this bridge over Feni River, Agartala will become the nearest city to an international seaport in India,” he said.
Noting that people will not have to depend only on road for any kind of supply to the northeast, he said, “efforts are underway to connect Chittagong port of Bangladesh with northeast through an alternative route via the river” and Integrated Check Post at Sabroom will work as a full-fledged logistic hub with warehouses and container trans-shipment facilities.
With the opening up of the Feni Bridge, movement of goods between West Bengal and Indian northeastern states can take place through Bangladesh.
Earlier, the nearest seaport for Agartala was Kolkata, which is over 1,600 kilometres away. However, today, Agartala’s nearest seaport is Chattogram and the distance through Bangladesh is less than 100 kilometres.