Maitri Setu

MAR 11

Preliminary   > International Relations   >   India and Neighbours   >   infrastructure

Why in news?

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday virtually inaugurated the 1.9-km-long ‘Maitri Setu’ or the India-Bangladesh Friendship Bridge.

About the bridge:

  • It is built over Feni river that connects Sabroom district in south Tripura to Ramgarh in Bangladesh.
  • The Maitri Setu will be the fastest land route to connect the landlocked Northeast region via Sabroom to Chittagong port.
  • The 1.9 km-double lane bridge, which also includes approach roads, was constructed at a cost of Rs 133 crore by the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL).
  • Work on Maitri Setu was started in June 2017 and the project is fully funded by the central government.
  • From Ramgarh, vehicles can either go by road to Chittagong port, which is approximately 80 km away.
  • Alternatively, from Ramgarh, one can use the waterways to transport goods to Chittagong port.

Importance

  • The Maitri bridge is rbeing called the “gateway of Northeast” as it will connect the landlocked region with Chittagong port in Bangladesh, unlocking the untapped markets of other east and south east economies.
  • Indian trucks are not allowed to transit through Bangladesh as of now, which makes northeast India particularly isolated from the rest of the country.
  • This leads to long and costly routes, through the 27-km-wide Siliguri corridor, also called the ‘chicken’s neck’.
  • Goods from Agartala, for example, travel 1,600 kilometers through the Siliguri corridor to reach Kolkata Port instead of 450 kilometers through Bangladesh.
  • With the bridge open to Indian trucks, goods from Agartala would have to travel just 200 kilometers to the Chattogram Port in Bangladesh, and the transport costs to the port would be 80 percent lower.

Prelims Question

Consider the following statements regarding Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Nidhi (PMSSN):
1.It is a non-lapsable fund to be used for developing health sector.
2.It is administered and maintained by Health ministry.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a)1 only
(b)2 only
(c)Both 1 and 2
(d)Neither 1 nor 2

Answer to the Prelims Question