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Tourist movement thru’ Banglabandha-Phulbari check post rises,

  • Sun Online Desk
  • 10th April, 2016 11:42:22 AM
  • Print news

Despite several problems, tourists’ movement through Banglabandha-Phulbari immigration check post has risen as at least 774 such people have made their journey through the point in the last one and a half months of its opening.

Earlier, immigration service through Banglabandha-Phulbari land port in Tentulia upazila of Panchagarh district was launched on February 18.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan and State Minister for External Affairs of India Vijay Kumar Singh inaugurated the immigration service.

A 32-member Bangladesh delegation led by Ashraful Alam Patwari, president of Panchagarh Chamber of Commerce and Industries, went to India through the check post on the opening day.

Sources at Banglabandha immigration check-post, said some 774 tourists have so far traveled through the land port.

Of them, 123 people traveled in both countries in February and 651 people in March.

Despite several problems and complexities, including difficulties in getting visas, money exchange and baggage clearance and there not being the facility to carry luggage 200 metres inside the check post, the number of tourists travelling through this point is increasing day by day.

Besides, people using the check post fall victim to harassment in different ways as there is no direct transport link from Dhaka to Banglabandha and from Banglabandha to Dinajpur and Rangpur.

However, there is no mobile operator’s network, causing immense suffering to the tourists, customs immigration officials and local people.

The tourists have demanded the higher authorities’ intervention in solving the problem.

Bangladeshi tourists can travel to different places of India, including Siliguri, Darjeeling, Asam, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Kolkata through the Banglabandha-Phulbari immigration check post while the Indian tourists can visit many parts of the country, including Cox’s Bazar, Kuakata, Rangamati, Bandarban and Sylhet districts.

Besides, both Bangladesh and India will be benefited by the land port as the distance from Banglabandha-Phulbari land port to Siliguri is only eight kilometers while Jalpaiguri city is ten kilometers away from the land port.

Besides, the distance from Banglabandha-Phulbari land port to Darjeeling is 58 kilometres while Kakarbhitta in Nepal is 61 kilometres away from the check post and Phuntsholing in Bhutan is 68 kilometres away from the land port.

However, Siliguri is a corridor for entry into the Indian states, known as Seven Sisters.

While talking to this correspondent, Nazmul Huda Shah Apollo, a businessman of Thakurgaon, said he had suffered a lot while entering the Banglabandha zero point with his luggage from India as there is no customs office in the zero point for baggage clearance.

Shahidul Islam Shahid, another tourist, alleged that there is no money exchange facility in the check post here which is a big problem for the tourists.