The timing of trade between India and Bangladesh through West Bengal’s Petrapole land port has been extended by another three hours.
The Customs Department has extended the time as part of the gradual easing of Covid-19 restrictions. According to the new timing, the trading activities in the land port will continue until 11:00pm every day.The move is aimed at reducing the number of trucks stranded at the land port, according to a news report of Press Trust of India on Thursday.
According to the Covid-19 protocol, the movement of trucks through the integrated check-post in Petrapole, about 80 kilometres from Kolkata, was allowed until 8:00pm.
As the district magistrate of North 24 Parganas has permitted an extension of time for export and import, the trade can take place between 6:00am and 11:00pm, the Petrapole customs authorities said in a notice.
On a normal day, 500-550 trucks cross the border there from India and about 100-150 come from Bangladesh, Petrapole Exporters and Importers Welfare Association President Paritosh Biswas said.
“Now, only 250-275 trucks move to Bangladesh through Petrapole land port, the largest facility on the Indo-Bangla border.
“The number of Bangladesh-bound trucks that cross the border daily through Petrapole had reduced significantly. Cargo-laden vehicles get stranded for 20-25 days even though facilities such as electronic filings are in place and a dedicated export road has been developed,” he alleged.Instead of extending the time for trade between the two countries, the customs department should set a target to the Petrapole land port authorities to clear a specific number of stranded trucks, which could be useful for exporters.