6 land ports along India-B’desh border to remain open 3 days a week
Agartala: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, six border checkposts along the 4,096 km India-Bangladesh borders would remain open for three days a week for the movement of people between the two countries, officials said on Friday.
An Indian government official said that for people returning to Bangladesh from India, a no objection certificate (NOC), Covid negative report and a quick response code with 72-hour validity would be mandatorily required.
Both India and Bangladesh have restricted the normal movement of people between the two countries since March last year, but allowed the trade to continue as usual, adhering to the standard operating procedures (SOPs).
The official told IANS that the six border checkposts, which would be opened for three days a week (Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday) include the Petrapole-Benapole, Gede-Darshana, Mahadipur-Sona Masjid, Hili-Hili and Changrabandha-Burimari checkposts, all along the West Bengal border, along with the Agartala-Akhaura checkpost along Tripura.
“However, for training and medical treatment purposes, Bangladeshi nationals are being allowed to visit India following strict restrictions and protocols,” the official said on condition of anonymity.
An official of the Agartala-based Bangladesh Assistant High Commission said that no foreigners would be allowed to visit Bangladesh as the land routes are currently closed by the government.
“The Bangladeshi nationals whose visa period would expire within 15 days have been advised to return to the country. The Bangladesh diplomatic missions in India would facilitate their return,” the official told IANS.
He said that those Bangladeshi citizens, including students, who have a long-term visa can stay in India, following all the Covid safety guidelines.
The official said that the Bangladesh government had earlier prohibited travel of foreigners by air, waterways or rail to Bangladesh.
The four ‘Border Haats’ (markets) in Tripura and Meghalaya along the India-Bangladesh frontiers are also closed since March last year as a precautionary measure against Covid-19.