Chhagalnaiya-Srinagar border haat reopens after three years

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News Desk

Traders and customers from different parts of Bangladesh and India came to the Chhagalnaiya-Srinagar border haat in Feni district as the local administration reopened it after three years on Tuesday.

Market Managing Committee Chairman from the Bangladesh side, Abhishek Das, additional district magistrate of Feni, and his Indian counterpart ADM Dhanbabu Rion, officially reopened the border haat after exchanging flowers officially.

The third border haat between the two countries was opened in 2015 on the Madhuram border of Chhagalnaiya in Feni, connecting with Srinagar in India. However it was closed on March 3, 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Later, the management committees of the two countries shut it down for an indefinite period.

Last April 26, the decision to reopen the border was taken at a bilateral meeting of the Bangladesh-India management committee.

Ataur Rahman, general secretary of Border Haat Traders Association, said with the reopening of border haats, trade and commerce between the two countries as well as mutual relations have increased.

He also made some complaints regarding Indian traders apparently entering the country, restriction on the amount of Bangladeshi goods Indians are allowed to buy (5kg), non-cooperation of Indian administration, safety issues of some local traders and general chaos at the border haat.

To resolve the issues, a discussion was held with the authorities concerned where a decision was taken to ensure security, prevent smuggling and strengthen surveillance to stop harassing traders and customers.

Mohammad Shahjahan, a trader, said all kinds of Indian cosmetics and fish, dried fish and plastic products from Bangladesh are available at the border haat.

“This year, the authorities concerned have changed some policies and traders have to show their National Identity (NID) cards and Veendi cards before entering into the haat,” said Abhishek.

On the first day of the haat, a total of 434 Bangladeshi traders collected their tickets.

On May 2, a notice, signed by Additional District Magistrate of Feni, Abhishek Das, was published.

This year, the managing committee fixed Tk 50 as the price of the ticket, from the existing Tk 20. The traders should collect their tickets from Chhagalnaiya Upazila Nirbahi Office one day prior to the haat.

Chhagalnaiya Upazila Nirbahi officer Moumita Das, said the border haat will remain open every Tuesday from 10 am to 4 pm.

The authorities allocated 26 shops for each country’s traders. Besides, necessary instructions were given to buy and sell the products produced within 5 kilometers of the bordering areas of the two countries, so that local communities can primarily benefit.

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