Guwahati, Sunday, December 20, 2015

'Feni bridge will end Tripura’s isolation'
Correspondent
 AGARTALA, Dec 19 - Tripura will have a gateway to the world once the Feni bridge, connecting both sides of the international border, is constructed, Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said today.

 After the partition, Tripura had become geographically isolated with limited opportunities of connectivity, he said.

“The distance between Kolkata and Agartala, which was only 500 km, has been enhanced to around 1,160 km through Assam, adversely affecting the State’s communication system,” he said while speaking at a programme ‘Linking prospective food entrepreneurs with government scheme and markets’ organised by ASSOCHAM at Prajna Bhavan here today.

“This geographical isolation, however, could be bridged once the Feni bridge is constructed connecting Sabroom with Bangladesh’s Ramgarh district,” he opined.

Sarkar further said that the bridge with an estimated cost of Rs 110 crore would facilitate access to Bangladesh’s sea port Chittagong.

“We want to use the Chittagong port by using the Feni bridge, since the Bangladesh’s sea port is only 72 km from the Sabroom subdivision of south Tripura,” he said, adding that the plan, if implemented, would change face of the State.

In his speech, the Chief Minister also mentioned that the government has been trying hard to extend the BG rail network up to Sabroom to harness business potential in the days to come.

Noting that the State is all set to export 100 megawatt power to Bangladesh within the next few days, Sarkar said the internet facility would be improved substantially within the next one or two months with the State looking for an international gateway of broadband service.

Expressing gratitude to ASSOCHAM for holding the programme, the Chief Minister exhorted the entrepreneurs to grab the local market before opting for exports.

“Thinking of setting up big industrial units may not be feasible right now. Instead, we can explore the potential in the field of agriculture and allied sectors,” he said.

Sarkar also told ASSOCHAM that knowledge sharing or communication may not be good enough to harness the potential of the food processing sector. “You must bring in exports from outside the State for capacity building of local entrepreneurs on how to set up and run a food processing unit successfully,” he said.

TIDC Managing Director and MP Jitendra Chowdhury, secretary of the Industries and Commerce Nagaraju Maddirala, Director of the Industries and Commerce VG Janner, SN Nundy, Managing Director–Matthews and Company, were present in the programme.