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New gateway to South-East Asia

  Apr 06, 2018

New gateway to South-East Asia

Jogighopa is set to become India’s gateway to South-East Asia as well as the rest of the North-East. The road ministry is gearing up to develop a multimodal logistics park (MMLP) there with road, rail, waterways and air transport facilities. Jogighopa is a small town located on the banks of the Brahmaputra River in the Bongaigaon district in the state of Assam.
The development includes railway sidings, container terminals, warehousing, non-cargo processing, a truck terminal, common facilities, support infrastructure and equipment.
A special purpose vehicle, backed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), will be created to execute the project.
Under the project, all four types of transportation—road, rail, air and waterways—will be available.
The current transit corridors from mainland India to the North-East region pass through an area known as the “Chicken’s Neck”—a narrow tract of land in India between the borders with Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. Since it is close to these borders and cannot be expanded, the North-East region requires an alternative route for providing connectivity to the rest of India—a route with adequate expansion potential. The Indo-Bangladesh road route, along with the National Waterways-2 , provides such an option.
Significance
Setting Jogighopa as India’s gateway to South-East Asia comes at a time when India’s neighbours are gearing up for trade. For example, Bangladesh’s development of the Khulna-Dhaka-Sylhet Economic Corridor and the Banglabandha-Dhaka-Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar Economic Corridor—to promote industrial development in the region. These initiatives are expected to drive freight movement in the region and facilitate trade between India and Bangladesh, and between Bangladesh and Bhutan through India. The decision is also significant because of the sustained “Act East” policy of the government.