Roving Correspondent: The northern township has changed around the Banglabandha land port of new look. The northern districts of the country including Panchagarh, Thakurgaon and Dinajpur have got a new look. The life of people here has changed. Increased business trade and employment. People from the north are going to and from India every day through Banglabandha land port.
Tourists and visitors have increased around this port located at the last border of the northern region. Being connected with the Asian Highway has brought a revolutionary change in the communication of this region with other parts of the country. And the increase in import and export has increased the income of the port. On the ground, information has been obtained by visiting Panchagarh, Banglabandha and Thakurgaon and talking to the concerned persons.
This reporter was staying at Banglabandha land port on July 8. During this time, many people were seen going from Bangladesh to India and from India to Bangladesh. Some of them were going for medical treatment and some went for business. Students are also going to India and Nepal through this port. One of them is Majedul Islam of Thakurgaon. Last Wednesday, he went to India with his wife Soma Akhtar for treatment. After treatment, they returned home through this port on Saturday.
During the conversation, Majedul told Daily Industry, “Earlier, we had to go to India through Burimari port, or we had to go to Dhaka.” As the cost was high, so was the suffering. Now it only takes a few hours to travel to and from India. We did not have this opportunity before.
Majedul also said, “Immigration has been started at the port for several years. As a result, we northerners have benefited a lot. The image of the roads in this area has changed. There has been great development. There was no such development after independence. This development has happened in the last few years.
Panchagarh businessman Jaydev Kundu, father of two children said that his children study in India. When speaking at the Banglabandha land port, he told that he had come to get his wife and children through immigration. His sons and daughters came to the country on vacation. The accompanying wife is going to visit.
He said, “Boys and girls study in English medium in India. The cost of studying in India is low. There is no English medium school of that quality in Panchagarh. If you have to teach in the country then you have to go to Dhaka. It takes 12-14 hours to reach Dhaka. And two-and-a-half hours in Karshian, India. As a result, they are forced to teach in India.
He also said, ‘Now if you leave home after breakfast, you can go to India for lunch. And even if you leave in the morning from India, you can eat lunch in the country. There is more joy than this! There is no previous suffering.
Jaydev’s daughter Jayi Kundu told Daily Industry, “I was in the country for a month. Now the class will start. so going, I’ll come back to the country in a few months.
Businessman Jaydev Kundu also said that he travels to India several times a month. There is no harassment. It takes only half an hour to complete the immigration process.
Noman Khan of Bogra was standing in the Bangladesh part of the port from 3:30 p.m. After exactly 15 minutes, a young woman came to the India-Bangladesh Zero Point in an auto-rickshaw with luggage. Noman quickly took the bag-luggage of the young woman.
Noman said that his wife’s name is Ishana Roy Chowdhury. Wife’s home in Darjeeling, India. They love and get married. Wife Ishana left after lunch. Reached Bangladesh in a short time. Although both of their homes are in Bengal, they easily travel between India and Bangladesh through this port a few times a month. The land port has strengthened the relationship between the two Bengali speaking people.
When spoken to at Panchagarh Sadar on Saturday, 60-year-old Jalal said that earlier the roads in this area were not so good. After the arrival of new trains at Banglabandha land port and Panchagarh, the roads in this area have changed. Everything got a new look.
Meanwhile, stone trade also increased around Banglabandha land port. The most common commodity that comes through the land port is stone. And business and employment have increased around this stone crushing industry.
Stone trader Lokman said that earlier Burimari used to bring stones through the port. Now 30,000Sft stones are imported every month easily and at low cost through this route. As Banglabandha is a land port, there are many benefits in transportation. The roads of this port are very good, it is also convenient to load goods in vehicles.
According to Banglabandha Port Authority, Banglabandha Land Port located in TentuliaUpazila of Panchagarh District is the only quadrilateral land port in the country. Import-export activities are going on with India, Nepal and Bhutan through this port. The land port is of particular importance considering the future political context. Along with export of goods, earning foreign currency through export of domestic goods, massive employment opportunities have been created at the local level. About 5,000 workers work in this land port every day. About 35,000 people are directly and indirectly connected with this port in livelihood.
The port authority also said that the port was established in 1997 to maintain communication with Nepal. Later, in 2011 with India and in 2017 with Bhutan, import-export operations started at this port. Through this port, stone, maize, khail, ginger, wheat, rice, fruits and manufactured and various processed products from Nepal and Bhutan are imported from India.
Apart from this, parts, glass sheets, medicines, potatoes, juices, carton bags and foodstuffs are exported from the country. At present, as the size of this port has increased to a greater extent, the master plan is being adopted and implemented to transform it into a modern port.
It is also known from the information of the port authority that the import and export through this port is continuously increasing every year. In the fiscal year 2016-17, 6,656 tons of goods were imported and 7,051 tons of goods were exported through this port. In the fiscal year 2017-18, the import was 12,7323 tons and the export was 69,205 tons, in the fiscal year 2018-19 the import was 17,96,869 tons, in the fiscal year 2019-20 the import was 11,86,058 tons and the export was 1,13,390 tons, in the fiscal year 2020-21, the import was 16,93,120 tons and the export was 1,11,569 and in the fiscal year 2021-22, the import was 16,55,726 tons and the export was 1,64,875 tons of products.
Banglabandha land port manager Abul Kalam Azad told Daily Industry, ‘Banglabandha land port is strategically important. The main advantage of the port is that it connects four countries. As a result, the Panchagarh Highway Road has been aligned with the Asian Highway. Most of the stone is imported from Nepal and Bhutan through this port. Jute, jute goods, glass, medicines are mostly exported from our country along with food items. And most of the imported products come from Nepal. About 350 to 400 truckloads of imported goods are brought on this route daily, and 500 to 600 people travel. The target of revenue collection from this port is achieved 100% every fiscal year.
He said, “In the last 14 years, Banglabandha port has seen a lot of infrastructure development. It can be said that there was not much here a few days ago.
When asked about the obstacles, he said, “Since we do not have a transit system directly to Nepal, we have to speed up the export of goods.”
Regarding the future plans of the port, he said, “At present, the port is located on 10 and a half acres of land. Another 16 and a half acres of land is in process of acquisition. When the work is completed, the port will become a 27-acre port.
Panchagarh Deputy Commissioner Md. Zahurul Islam told Daily Industry, ‘Banglabandha land port has created new employment. Reduced import-export costs. As a result, the distance has actually decreased. It connects with Asian Highway-2. Due to being connected with all places, traders can send products wherever they want. They can expand their business. As a result of this port, there has been a radical change in the road system of the northern region. This port has changed the entire northern town.’
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