PM Modi inaugurates Maitri Setu between India, Bangladesh, says connectivity strengthening friendship between two countries


New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that connectivity is not only strengthening friendship between India and Bangladesh but also proving to be a strong link for business.

The Prime Minister, who inaugurated ‘Maitri Setu’ between India and Bangladesh today through a video conference and also inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of multiple infrastructure projects in Tripura, said efforts are underway to connect the Chittagong port of Bangladesh with the northeast through an alternative route via the river.

He said rail and water connectivity projects that have been realized in the recent years have been strengthened with the inauguration of the bridge.

He said the entire region is being developed as a trade corridor between northeast India and Bangladesh.

The Prime Minister said that the new bridge will improve the connectivity of south Assam, Mizoram and Manipur along with Tripura with Bangladesh and southeast Asia.

PM Modi, who will visit Bangladesh later this month, said the bridge will give an impetus to the economic opportunities in the neighbouring country also.

He thanked the Bangladesh Government and Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina for cooperation in the completion of the bridge project. A video message from the Bangladesh Prime Minister was played on the occasion.

PM Modi said the foundation stone of the bridge was laid during his visit to Bangladesh.

“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.

The Prime Minister said that projects related to the broadening of NH-08 and NH-208, which were dedicated and for which foundation stone was laid, will strengthen the connectivity of the northeast with the port.

He said that connectivity-related infrastructure has seen tremendous improvement in the last three years and cited the rapid work for the airport, sea-link for the internet. He also talked of HIRA development – Highways, i-ways, Railways and Airways for Tripura.

PM Modi said the inauguration of several projects today is part of efforts to make Agartala a better city. Newly integrated command center will provide technical support to prevent traffic-related problems and crime. Multi-level parking, commercial complex and widening of the road connecting the airport inaugurated today will improve ease of living and ease of doing business in Agartala, he said.

Noting that the central government has taken care of the development requirements of Tripura in the past six years, he said there has been a significant hike in the central allocation for the state.
Tripura had received Rs 3500 crore rupees for central development schemes between 2009 and 2014 and the state got over Rs 12000 crore between 2014 and 2019.

Referring to the benefits of “double engine” governments, he said states which do not have such governments are witnessing very slow progress of schemes for strengthening the poor, farmers and women.

PM Modi said the “double engine” government has transformed Tripura from a power deficit state to a power surplus one and referred to other initiatives including piped drinking water to 2 lakh rural households, 2.5 lakh free gas connection, making every village in the state open defecation free and 50,000 pregnant women receiving the benefit of Matru Vandana Yojana and 40,000 poor families getting their new homes.

Noting that the decades-old Bru refugee problem found a solution due to the government’s efforts, he expressed hope that Rs 600 crore rupees package will bring positive change in the lives of Bru people.

The Prime Minister touched upon the rich heritage of the state and said that the renaming of the Agartala airport after Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya is a mark of respect for his vision for the development of Tripura.

He expressed happiness at the opportunity for honouring people who have served the rich culture and literature of Tripura like Thanga Darlong, Satyaram Reang and Benichandra Jamatia.
He noted that bamboo-based local art is being promoted under Pradhanmantri Van Dhan Yojana. (ANI)