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May 21, 2024

Tripura Strengthens Supply Chain via Bangladesh to Counter Transport Disruptions

The Tripura government is proactively working on a new arrangement to bolster the supply of fuel and essential goods through Bangladesh, according to Transport Minister Sushanta Chowdhury. This strategic move aims to circumvent the unreliable rail links through Assam and the national highway connecting Agartala, the state’s capital, with its neighboring state.

The impetus for this alternative supply route stems from a severe fuel crisis triggered by the derailment of a goods train in Assam’s Jatinga. Regular disruptions to traffic on the Assam-Agartala highway and rail links due to monsoon-induced landslides have highlighted the need for a more reliable supply chain.

“In light of the recent disruption in Assam’s Jatinga railway network, we are devising alternative methods to ensure a continuous supply of fuel and goods via Bangladesh. The Agartala-Gangasagar (Bangladesh) rail tracks are expected to be operational for goods transportation within the next six months to a year. Once this route opens, we can transport fuel and goods from Kolkata directly through Bangladesh,” Minister Chowdhury announced at a press conference on Monday.

Reinforcing this commitment, Chief Minister Manik Saha recently affirmed that the Agartala-Gangasagar rail service would soon be operational. This development is a critical step in establishing a resilient supply chain for the northeastern state.

Additionally, the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) is constructing a large fuel depot in Sekerkote, located in Sepahijala district, to enhance fuel storage capacity. “We are optimistic that IOCL will complete this project within six months to a year. This facility will ensure that the state has sufficient fuel reserves, which will be particularly beneficial during disruptions in goods transportation,” Chowdhury stated.

In anticipation of the upcoming monsoon season, the state has already built up a substantial fuel stockpile, comprising 1,700 kiloliters of petrol and 2,726 kiloliters of diesel. This proactive measure is aimed at mitigating the risk of shortages during periods of disrupted connectivity.

The Tripura government has also ensured that the Food and Civil Supplies Department maintains a robust stock of essential food items such as rice, wheat, oil, sugar, salt, and pulses. Under the Public Distribution System, the state has secured rice for 70 days, sugar for 28 days, pulses for 22 days, and salt for 45 days. Other essential food items, including edible oil, are also well-stocked. “These measures should prevent any shortages of essential items during the monsoon, even if connectivity is disrupted,” Chowdhury added.

By diversifying its supply routes and enhancing storage capabilities, Tripura is taking significant steps to safeguard its residents against future supply chain disruptions. The state’s collaboration with Bangladesh not only exemplifies regional cooperation but also underscores the importance of strategic planning in ensuring the availability of essential resources.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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