Maitri Setu: A New Economic Corridor between India and Bangladesh

Maitri Setu: A New Economic Corridor between India and Bangladesh

The Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi has virtually inaugurated the India Bangladesh Friendship Bridge or Maitri Setu bridge on 9 March 2021 to improve and symbolize the bilateral relationship between India and Bangladesh. This new gateway is also an achievement of the ‘Look East Policy ’ of the Indian Government.

Maitri Setu / Friendship Bridge

The Maitri Setu bridge is built on the river Feni connecting Sabroom, Tripura of India and Ramgarh, Chittagong, Bangladesh. Sabroom and Ramgarh are on opposite sides of the river Feni. This 1.9km long bridge, constructed by the National Highway Authority of India, has reduced the distance to access the port of Chittagong to 80km. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina laid the foundation stone in June 2015. After being connected with Haldia and Varanasi through waterways in Bangladesh, Tripura is now directly connected to Bangladesh.

Facts about Maitri Setu

  • Name: Matri Setu / India Bangladesh Friendship Bridge / The Gateway of North-East / Feni Bridge
  • Length of the bridge: 1.9 kilometres
  • Construction started: June 2015
  • Cost: INR 133 crores
  • It Connects: Sabroom of the South Tripura district, Tripura, India and Ramgarh of Khagrachari district, Chittagong, Bangladesh
  • Constructed on the river: Feni
  • Indian City closest to an International Sea Port: Sabroom

The relation between India and Bangladesh

  • The India – Pakistan war of 1971 gave independence to East Pakistan and gave birth to a new nation Bangladesh. In these 50 years, India and Bangladesh have worked on improving the bilateral relationship through economic relations, power distribution, joint military exercises, boundary reformation, several development-works, etc. In past, India and Bangladesh had started Maitree Express between Dhaka and Kolkata and bus service between Shilong and Guwahati and Dhaka. Recently in December 2020, the railway connection has been restored between Chilahati, Bangladesh and Haldibari, India. Now, the Maitri Setu has strengthened the relationship by the direct route to the ports of Chittagong.

Importance of the Bridge

The Maitri Setu has been recognized as a trade corridor between Bangladesh and North-East India under the central government’s HIRA Project. Also, it is an important development of India’s ‘Look East Policy’.

What is HIRA Project?

HIRA stands for Highways, Internet ways, Railways and Airways. Now, Waterways and Port Infrastructure are part of the HIRA model.

Know about Look East Policy:

This policy was launched in 1992 by the former PM of India P V Narasimha Rao. This policy was modified as Act East Policy in 2014. The focus of the Act East Policy is a good relationship and economic integration with the South-East Asian countries. Culture, Commerce, Connectivity and Capacity Building, these are known as 4C’s of Act East Policy.

Economic Importance of the Maitri Setu

  1. It has developed a new opportunity in export infrastructure and a new international market between the North-East region of India and Bangladesh through highways and waterways.
  2. Broad gauge work of NH-8 and NH-208is under construction. Later, these routes will be connected to NH-44, which will play an important role in this international route and bilateral relationship between these two nations.
  3. Integrated Checkposts are being built. Later, the facilities of parking, warehousing, container transhipment will be developed. Now, Agartala has become an important logistic centre of India’s North-East region.
  4. Transport cost will go cheaper.
  5. Natural calamities like heavy rain or flood would be much easier to tackle for both the countries.

 

This article Maitri Setu: A New Economic Corridor between India and Bangladesh’ will help you to understand the essential role of the Maitri Setu in the North-East Region of India as well as the international relationship with Bangladesh.

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