India-Bangladesh ‘Border Haat’ in Sylhet to boost economy, bilateral ties
Publish- January 09, 2020, 04:55 PM
Mohammed Mohsin - UNB Sylhet Correspondent
Update- January 09, 2020, 05:06 PM
UNB file photo
A new India-Bangladesh ‘Border Haat’ (market) is going to be set up soon in Muria of Beanibazar upazila to boost border trade and social connection between the two neighbours.
Necessary administrative works for the purpose have been completed. Once in operation, this will be the third border market in Sylhet division.
Two other Border Haats are also being constructed in Companiganj and Kanaighat upazilas. They are expected to be in operation next year.
The construction of the district’s first Border Haat started on June 25 at Sonatanpunji of Kanaighat while the work of the second one begun August 6 in Bholaganj.
A joint meeting of Haat Management Committee on December 24 decided to set up the new market at the no man’s land near the main pillar in Muria area.
An eight-member Bangladeshi delegation led by Additional District Magistrate of Sylhet Mohammad Abul Kalam and 10-member Indian delegation led by Karimganj Additional District Magistrate participated in the meeting.
Kalam said they have already selected 117 decimals of land at No Man’s Land for the market but are yet to finalise the specific date for beginning the infrastructural work.
All documents on installing the market will be sent to the commerce and home ministries for approval, Kalam said. “The construction will begin soon after the government’s approval.”
A total of 100 traders, 50 each from the two countries, will be permitted to sell their goods at the market that will take place every Sunday and Thursday from 9:30am to 4pm, said Kalam.
Two main entrances of two countries will be installed for entering the Haat. Consumers and traders will have to collect identity cards from their respective district administration for entrance, he stated.
Watch tower, toilet and adequate security measures will be taken by the authorities.
What is Border Haat?
India-Bangladesh Border Haat is a weekly market organised by the two countries.
The markets are not only for buying daily commodities but also facilitate reunion of families divided by the border.
They aim at promoting the wellbeing of people living in remote areas across the borders by setting up markets to sell the local produce.
Bangladesh and India share 4,100 kilometres border. The first of the Border Haats was inaugurated on July 23, 2011.
The neighbours also agreed to increase the number, which, once in operation, are expected to witness bilateral trade worth $20 million every year.
Currently, four Border Haats are operational. Two of them are located in Meghalaya at Kalaichar and Balat and the others in Tripura at Srinagar and Kamalasagar.
All sorts of goods including cloths, soap, spices, kids’ essentials, food, cloth, domestic cookeries, oil, plastic products, ceramics and cosmetics will be available in the new Border Haat, said the authorities.
There will be no limit for buyers in case of procuring products and consumers can purchase as per their necessity and demand.
Officials say the Border Haat will contribute to the improvement of living standard of people in border areas and social relations.
“Trading at Border Haats significantly reduce the tendency and interest in smuggling goods and lead towards improved financial condition of locals through employment and business,” Kalam said.