Rajya Sabha MP from Mizoram K Vanlalvena has urged the Centre to establish a consulate in the State to facilitate the issuance of visas or travel documents for movement into two neighbouring countries bordering Mizoram – Myanmar and Bangladesh.
Speaking during zero hour in the Parliament on Tuesday, Vanlalvena said that people of Mizoram face difficulties in obtaining visas to go to Bangladesh and Myanmar due to absence of a consulate in the State.
He said that the nearest foreign embassies are located in Kolkata.
“Apart from establishing border trade centres, I request the Central government to establish a consulate in Mizoram,” Vanlalvena said.
Mizoram shares a 318 km long international border with Bangladesh of which 60 per cent is connected by rivers.
During the British rule, he said, the people of Mizoram used to go to Kolkata via Chittagong (now in Bangladesh) through Kawthlang Tuipui river that runs along the Indo-Bangladesh border.
The river was then navigable by small boat throughout the year, he said.
However, for 75 years after India independence the river has been blocked and as a result many villages in the border areas have become landlocked, he said.
Earlier on Sunday, Mizoram commerce and industries minister Dr. R. Lalthangliana met with Bangladesh commerce minister Tipu Munshi at the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka to boost the Indo-Bangladesh border trade.
The meeting decided to conduct joint spot verification in May to expedite the construction of Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Kawrpuichhuah in Tlabung area in Lunglei district, an official statement had said Monday.
Lalthangliana urged Bangladeshi government to play its part and execute necessary works to expedite the construction of border trade centre and to make the border haats along the Indo-Bangladesh border becomes fully operational and make use by both the countries, the statement had said.
Citing that there is ample scope for boosting trade and commerce between Mizoram and Bangladesh, Lalthangliana also informed the Bangladeshi minister that Mizoram can export bamboos, timbers, gingers, chillies, spice, turmeric, orange, stone and handicraft products, the statement had added.