Mongla Port

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India is looking to operate the Mongla Port in Bangladesh and build a new terminal, aiming to counterbalance China's strategic presence in the region.

About Mongla Port

  • The Port of Mongla is located in the Bagerhat District of Bangladesh. It lies 62 km north of the Bay of Bengal coastline.
  • It is situated at the confluence of the Pasur River and the Mongla River.
  • The Port is surrounded and protected by the Sundarban mangrove forest.
  • Mongla is the second largest seaport in Bangladesh after Chittagong.

Significance for India:

  • Provides strategic access to India's northeastern states (e.g., Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya).
  • Reduces distance and transportation costs for goods to and from these regions.
  • India Ports Global Limited (IPGL) has expressed interest in operating Mongla Port, which would be its third international port operation after Chabahar in Iran and Sittwe in Myanmar.
  • Expansion project: India and Bangladesh signed a MoU on the use of Chattogram and Mongla ports in 2015.
    • The MoU envisages the transit of goods from Mongla port to the northeastern states of India through waterways, roads and railways.

Q1. What are mangroves?

Mangroves are tropical trees or shrubs that grow in coastal areas with salty soil and have adapted to survive in these conditions. They have prop roots and can grow in dense thickets, providing a unique ecosystem for many marine species. Mangroves are important for coastal protection, water quality, and biodiversity, and are found worldwide in the tropics and subtropics.

Source: India eyes Bangladesh's Mongla port