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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Hasina-Modi talks: Setting up Integrated Check Post along Tripura border likely to be discussed

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Bangladesh’s objections to setting up an Integrated Check Post and other Tripura-related issues are likely to figure in talks between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in New Delhi on September 6, 2022, according to a Tripura state official said.

“Due to objections from the Bangladesh side, construction of ICP in South Tripura’s Muhurighat could not be made. The prime minister (Narendra Modi) has agreed to take up the issue with his Bangladesh counterpart during her visit,” Special Secretary of Industries and Commerce, Abhishek Chandra, told the media in Agartala yesterday, (September 3, 2022), reports our New Delhi correspondent.

An Integrated Check Post is an entry and exit point on the international border with facilities such as immigration and customs.

Chandra said the “Maitri Setu” (bridge) over the Feni River was inaugurated by Modi on March, 9, last year to support the port connectivity with Chattogram in Bangladesh. However, trade has not yet begun as a Land Customs Station was yet to be set up on the other side of the river in Bangladesh.

“We hope that the use of Maitri Setu will also come up in the meeting between two prime ministers,” he said.

The bilateral trade between Bangladesh and Tripura has witnessed a 158 percent jump over the past three years. It stood at Rs 1,008 crore during the 2020-21 fiscal year, the official said.

Chandra said two border haats (markets) — Srinagar in South Tripura and Kamalasagar in Sepahijala district — were shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The haats are yet to be opened, according to the official.

The trial run of transportation of goods through Chattogram and Mongla ports of Bangladesh to Tripura via Srimantapur ICP in Sonamura sub-division of Sepahijala district was launched on August 17.

“We want more regular transportation of goods through this route,” Chandra said.

The lower segment on the Gomati river between Sonamura in Tripura and Daudkandi in Cumilla district of Bangladesh has been nominated as a new protocol route for riverine transport and an agreement in this connection was signed between India and Bangladesh in 2020.

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