Governments of Bangladesh and Mizoram on Monday said they will take steps to build infrastructure, including integrated check posts and road connectivity, to realise the potential of border trade between India and the neighbouring country.
The two governments (Mizoram and Bangladesh) on Monday issued a joint statement as an outcome of the meeting between the visiting Bangladesh commerce minister Tipu Munshi and Mizoram commerce and industry minister Dr. R. Lalthangliana on April 23 over border trade between the north-eastern state and the neighbouring country.
“After careful examination of the possibility and viability for setting up of border haat at Silsury (India) – Sajek (Bangladesh), the Government of Bangladesh may convey formal approval through diplomatic channel,” the joint statement signed by Munshi on behalf of Bangladesh government and Lalthangliana on Mizoram government’s behalf said.
During the meeting of the two ministers, the Mizoram government proposed that the government of Bangladesh may explore possibility and viability of setting up of matching infrastructure in the form of Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Thegamukh in Bangladesh side, adjacent to the ICP being developed at Kawrpuichhuah in south Mizoram Lunglei district, in order to synchronize efforts to formalize trade on both sides, the joint statement said.
It said that the Mizoram government also proposed that in order to upgrade connectivity, the government of Bangladesh may consider the possibility of constructing a road of 17 km from Chhota Horin to Thegamukh in Bangladesh.
The Mizoram government urged the Bangladesh government to include Khawthlangtuipui (Karnaphuli) river in one of the routes on India – Bangladesh Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade, it said.
The six points joint statement further said that the Mizoram government stated that the efforts will be made from its side to expedite the work on the proposed 660m concrete bridge over Khawthlangtuipui river in south Mizoram Lunglei district to connect Kawrpuichhuah with Bangladesh.
The relevant ministry of Bangladesh may communicate, upon receiving communication from the Union Ministry of Commerce (India), its position regarding the construction of such a bridge.
During the meeting of the two ministers, both sides agreed to make an endeavour to capitalize on the potentiality of a thriving border trade regime through establishment of critical trade infrastructure at viable locations, it said.
As regards the corresponding ICP on the Bangladesh side, the Mizoram government will forward the proposal to the Centre upon receipt of a written request from the Bangladesh government through diplomatic channel, the statement said.
It also said that all requests made by the Mizoram government during the meetings would be formally placed to the ministry concerned at the Centre.
Meanwhile, a Bangladeshi official told reporters on Monday that efforts are being made to set up a land custom station in Bangladesh near the Mizoram border.