Published On: Mon, Sep 5th, 2016

Trial run of cargo vehicles between India and Bangladesh : Paving the way for seamless movement of traffic under BBIN MVA

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i20169504New Delhi: History was written at the Inland Customs Depot in Patparganj in East Delhi today when for the first time a cargo truck from Bangladesh drove in with a Delhi bound consignment, having come seamlessly through customs free borders. The truck of Nazrul Transport Agency and Expo Freight Pvt. Ltd. from Bangladesh was despatched from Dhaka on 27th of August 2016 as part of a trial run under the Bangladesh Bhutan India Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicle Agreement (MVA). Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) signed an agreement on 15th June, 2015 in Thimphu, Bhutan to facilitate cross border movement of both passenger and cargo vehicles in the sub-region. Protocols to implement the Agreement are being negotiated by the four countries for passenger and cargo vehicles separately.

The trial run was organized to help develop the protocols for implementing the Agreement. The cargo vehicle started its journey from Dhaka and reached at Petrapole on 28th August, 2016, and Kolkata on 29th August, 2016. In India it travelled through the states of West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, UP, Haryana and Delhi travelling more than 1850 kms to reach the Custom Depot at Patparganj in New Delhi today. Shri Vivek Johari, Chief Commissioner Customs, Delhi welcomed the truck at ICD Patparganj and customs formalities were completed.

The truck was issued an E-permit for the trial run through an online web based system. This will help establish a customer friendly process acceptable to and recognized by all BBIN countries. The consignment did not have to undergo any customs clearance at the border. Instead, when it reached the first Indian customs station at border point Petrapole, an electronic seal with GPS tracking device was fixed on the truck so that the goods could be inspected for custom clearance at Delhi rather than at the border . An electronic online vehicle tracking system was also installed in the truck that facilitated real time monitoring of its progress. The truck was thus allowed to pass through without delay or causing congestion. The Integrated Multi-modal Transit System Ltd (DIMTS) provided support for testing the GPS based online/live vehicle tracking by all stakeholders and agencies concerned in India and Bangladesh.

The trial run has demonstrated that time and cost can be saved through facilitation of seamless transport through the sub-region. Cargo trucks earlier often had to be off loaded at the border and also go through customs clearance. This led to delay and often also caused damage to the goods. The steps being taken to facilitate seamless movement of cargo vehicles will give a major boost to trade and business in the sub-region .

A similar trial run of cargo vehicle from India was conducted in November, 2015 from Kolkata to Agartala via Dhaka. This trial run was a successful endeavour which established that with such facilitation, the distance of more than 1550 kms from Kolkata to Agartala via India’s Chicken’s Neck will be reduced to 650 kms if truck travels through Bangladesh resulting in reduction in overall transaction costs.

The Agreement has also envisaged seamless movement of passenger vehicles. Like in case of cargo vehicles, protocols have to be worked out for the movement of passenger vehicles too. Hence a trial run of passenger vehicles was also flagged off from Kolkata in India on 30th August 2016 to Khulna in Bangladesh. The operator for trial run of passenger bus was the South Bengal State Transport Corporation (SBSTC), Government of West Bengal.

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