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Indian LPG bulk tankers to ply via Bangladesh

India is mulling to carry tankers of bulk liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) through Bangladesh for its proposed new bottling plant in its northeastern state Tripura, a minister of the state said in Agartala on Wednesday.

"For easier transportation of LPG bulk tankers from outside the state for the proposed LPG bottling plant, the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) would ferry bulk tankers using Bangladeshi ports and roads," Indian private news agency IANS quoted Tripura Food and Civil Supplies Minister Bhanulal Saha as telling reporters at the state capital.

The state-owned Food Corporation of India (FCI) has earlier ferried 35,000 tonnes of rice from Andhra Pradesh and Kolkata to Tripura via Bangladesh.

Several ships carried rice to Ashuganj river port in Bangladesh. From Ashuganj port, Bangladeshi trucks ferried the rice to FCI warehouses in Nandannagar in Agartala.

Transportation via Bangladesh is much easier as road connectivity is a major issue for the mountainous northeastern states which share boundaries with Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan and China, the IANS said in its report dispatched from Agartala.

There is only a narrow land corridor to the northeastern region through Assam and West Bengal but this route passes through hilly terrain with steep gradients and multiple hairpin bends, making plying of vehicles, especially loaded trucks, very difficult.

Agartala via Guwahati is 1,650 km from Kolkata by road and 2,637 km from New Delhi, while the distance between Agartala and Kolkata via Bangladesh is just about 620 km.

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