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New Delhi : Minister for Shipping, Road Transport & Highways and Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari on October 28, 2017, digitally flagged off a Roll On Roll Off (RoRo) cum general cargo vessel MV IDM DOODLE carrying a consignment of 185 trucks from Chennai Port to Mongla port in Bangladesh.

Gadkari informed that these trucks, which are being exported by M/s.Ashok Leyland Ltd, were being sent to Bangladesh through the land route till now covering a distance of about 1,500 km. Transport through the  sea route will save about 15-20 days of travel time. For this trip alone that involves transport of 185 trucks, a total of about 3 lakh vehicle km of road travel will be saved as the land route is  longer  and much time is lost at the congested Petrapole-Benapole check point on the Indo- Bangladesh border. Besides saving time, coastal transport will also be more cost effective and environment friendly. The Minister called upon all automobile manufactures to use coastal shipping mode for transporting their vehicles, according to a PIB release.

M/s.Ashok Leyland Ltd is currently exporting around 12,000 truck chassis to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and countries in Africa . The volume to Bangladesh and Sri lanka is likely to increase by 80% in the coming years. Now, more than 500 trucks per month are expected to be exported via the sea route which will take away a lot of traffic from roads.

The Coastal Shipping Agreement between India and Bangladesh was signed during P MNarendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh in June 2015. Based on the agreement, sea transportation from Indian ports to Bangladesh ports is being treated as coastal movement, making it eligible for  40% concession on vessel related and  cargo related charges. For coastal movement through RoRo vessels, 80% concession on vessel related and cargo related charges are applicable in Indian Ports, according to the PIB release.

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