Agartala, Oct 24 (IANS): After a wait of over two years, Dhaka has finally issued a no objection certificate (NOC) to set up two more border “haats” (markets) along the India-Bangladesh border in Tripura, an official said on Thursday.
Currently, four border haats are functional along India-Bangladesh border in Tripura and Meghalaya.
“The Bangladesh government has issued NOC to set up two more border haats in Kamalpur and Raghna in northern Tripura along the Bangladesh border,” an official of Tripura government’s Industries and Commerce Department told IANS.
The official on condition of anonymity said that the officials of India and Bangladesh had earlier identified 1.92 acres and 1.36 acres of land at Raghna and Kamalpur respectively under North Tripura and Dhalai districts. “Now after completing few other formalities including acquiring of the land, the Union Commerce and Industries Ministry would release around Rs 3.25 crore for each border haat.”
The official said that the issue of setting up of new border haat was raised with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during her visit to New Delhi earlier this month.
“The NOC was issued by the Bangladesh government after a continuous persuasion by the Tripura government officials and Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb,” he added.
According to the official, two more border haats are also proposed at Radhanagar (Ghoshkhamar) in southern Tripura and Belchara in western Tripura. These two proposed locations would be finalised after the joint visit of India and Bangladesh government officials.
The first border haat was set up on July 23, 2011 at Kalaichar (India)-Kurigram (Bangaldesh) in the West Garo Hills of Meghalaya. Subsequently, three more haats followed in Meghalaya and Tripura in 2015. The Indian government has been spending on an average Rs 3.5 crore to develop the infrastructure and necessary facilities for each border market.
Experts and various studies have shown that the border haats have not only increased the livelihood of the people living in the border areas, but has also helped control cross-border troubles, including illegal trade.