Biplab Kr Dey
TURA, July 16 - The Joint Movement Committee for a corridor from Balurghat-Hilli (West Bengal) to Mahendraganj-Tura (Meghalaya) through Bangladesh met recently at Balurghat to discuss the issue of a India-Bangladesh corridor as a symbol of international goodwill and national solidarity.
In a release, the committee stated that it had taken a bold initiative to realise the dream for a Indo-Bangla corridor through the ports of Gaibandha, Ghoraghat via Palashbari (Bangladesh). The total distance is expected to be 100 kms to Mahendraganj in South West Garo Hills.
The said corridor is expected to help in the dissemination of the message of goodwill and fraternity to the people of Bangladesh with the ultimate mission to strengthen Indo-Bangla relations.
Further it would open up a new avenue for cultural and educational exchanges, ease road communication and reduce distance and usher in a dawn of a solid prospect of economic development between the two nations.
The meeting also expressed hope that if the corridor becomes a reality, it will bring about national solidarity with the entire people with different ethnic, linguistic, etc., identities of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, West Bengal and Bangladesh in particular and the entire nation in general.
The committee said that it has brought the matter to the notice of the President and Prime Minister of India.
MLA of Mahendraganj, Dikkanchi D Shira, in her message said, “It is a big step and initiative for all round development for this part of the country through Bangladesh.”
Stating that Mahendraganj is a Land Custom Station and presently coal, boulder and stone chips are being exported to Bangladesh, Shira remarked that State Highway connecting Mahendraganj to trade corridor of Bhutan, Assam, north and West Bengal through western plains of Meghalaya via Mahendraganj to Bangladesh and beyond will boost trade relations.
Shira said that the NH 127 (B) would include the longest bridge over river Brahmaputra in the country connecting Dhubri (Assam) and Phulbari in Meghalaya.
“The proposed road and rail link from Mahendraganj in South West Garo Hills district of Meghalaya to Hilli Balurghat in West Bengal, via Ghoraghat, Palasbari and Gaibanda in Bangladesh can be a game changer in furthering trade and commerce and providing shortest and critical road and rail link between West Bengal in India and Mahendraganj through Bangladesh”, she added.
The Mahendraganj MLA also said that connectivity between West Bengal and Meghalaya via Bangladesh would provide the shortest alternative to connect the rest of the North East through Meghalaya which she said was not only connected with best road networks but also has been recently connected by rail link.
“The importance of this proposed connectivity has to be understood from the backdrop of various instances of road and rail blockade in North Bengal, Bodoland of Assam due to unrest, agitations, etc”, she emphasised.