The ‘Mahabahu’ Brahmaputra River is all set to witness a novel trade relation with neighbouring country Bangladesh, which apart from boosting economic activities would also help in generating employment in the region.
Keeping in view the low transportation cost and also with an idea to exploit the huge market potential of the region, Bangladesh is going to export bulk quantity of cement by river for the first time to Northeast India.
Holcim having its only grinding unit in Bangladesh, is planning to ship around 3000t of cement every month to Guwahati from next week.
Talking to this correspondent, Manzur Hussain, territory manager of the company, said that earlier the company faced lot of hardship to cater to the northeastern market but now after getting the necessary permission to operate through waterways, some big plans would be streamlined by the company.
“Though on trial basis, a small consignment has arrived, the bigger deal will start coming from next month,” Manzur stated.
The Guwahati bound cement ladden ships would carry 3,000 tonnes of cement a month. The ship will start from Meghnaghat dock, some 30 kilometres southeast of Dhaka, for Guwahati.
‘We have completed all the necessary procedures to begin exporting cement by river to this part of India,’ informed Hussain, who is currently in Guwahati for the launching of the product.
“Cement export from Bangladesh to NE though started couple of years back but it could never do justice to its potential owing to various hindrances, which are related with trade by road,” he said.
The present market demand for cement in northeastern states is around 3 million tonne while the local production stands at around 1 million tonne only. Presently, the northeastern States are procuring cement by road from distant places like Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Bihar.
“We are here to give the national brands a run for their money. Bangladeshi cement has a competitive advantage as the transportation cost that the respective local dealers have to bear while procuring the goods will be very low,” he pointed out.