Ummid Assistant

Hajj committee's IAS coaching cell invites applications for new batch

AMU Centre for Distance Education to add five more study centres

Welcome Guest! You are here: Home Special reports

India-Bangladesh border 'haats' reopen - after 40 years

Sunday July 24, 2011 12:01:16 PM, R. R. Kharmujai , IANS

Related Articles

India-Bangladesh border haats reopen after 40 years

It made for an emotional moment when Indian and Bangladeshi traders met after 40 years at Kalaichar in Meghalaya where the traditional 'haats' along the border reopened Saturday. At 10 a.m., India Commerce 

'Cordial ties with Bangladesh important for India'

Shillong: Meghalaya resident Tengrak Ch Marak grew up on stories about his father's trading days at the 'haats' on the border with what was then East Pakistan. Those markets have reopened after 40 years, throwing up huge opportunities for trans-border commerce for people like him in India and his counterparts in Bangladesh.

The haats, once thriving centres of trade and commerce along the border, were shut down after the creation of Bangladesh in 1971. It is estimated that bilateral trade worth $20 million would take place annually from all the border haats.

"The revival of these haats is a new beginning for India-Bangladesh, and I am sure it will benefit our people on both sides of the border," Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma told IANS.

On Saturday morning, Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and his Bangladesh counterpart Faruk Khan inaugurated the border haats at Kalaichar in Meghalaya's West Garo Hills district and Baliamari of Bangladesh's Kurigram district.
These markets are popular among people on both sides of the border living in remote enclaves and hilly areas as they find it difficult to buy and sell products needed in everyday lives.

"Such border haats would soon be revived in many other areas of the state. The border haat at Balat (in East Khasi Hills district) and Lauwaghar (Dalora) in Bangladesh's Sunamganj district is also expected to be reopened within this year," Sangma said.

Tengrak Ch Marak, whose father was a trader at the border market, said: "It is a new beginning for us and now we can sell our locally grown products in the border market instead of transporting them to far off markets."

The haats, aimed at uplifting the economic status of people by establishing the traditional system of marketing of local produce, will operate at different timings in summer and winter.

While the timing from March to September would be 9.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m., the timing from October to February would be 9.30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m..

Sangma said that local forest produce, cottage industry items, small agriculture equipments like plough, axe, spade, chisel, processed food items, fruit juice and melamine products, among others, have been exempted from Value Added Tax and customs duties.

According to Sanjay K. Goyal, the district administrator of West Garo Hills, "at present 50 vendors, 25 each from both sides and around 300 vendees would be allowed to trade in the haat with a maximum transaction of $50 per day".

Goyal said that both Indian and Bangladeshi currencies would be used and the State Bank of India (SBI) has been authorised as the official authority for currency exchange.

"Every Wednesday, officials from the SBI would be present at the haat for the currency exchange," the official said.

However, Goyal said traders have been told to wear minimal ornaments to the haat, as asked by the customs, and not to use mobile phones.

The haats would operate within a 1.5-km radius of both sides of the border under close supervision of the border guards and customs officials of both the countries.

India is developing seven Integrated Check Posts (ICPs) on the India-Bangladesh border at Petrapole, Agartala, Dawki, Hili, Chandrabangha, Sutarkhandi and Kawarpuchiah. It's also developing infrastructure at eight Land Custom Stations along the border at a cost of Rs.108.19 crore.

The Land Custom Stations are Borosora, Dalu, Ghasupara, Mahadipur, Hilli, Phullbari, Srimantpur and Gojadanga. The total projected cost of all the ICPs and Land Custom Stations being developed is $125 million.

Four northeastern states - Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Assam - share a 1,880-km border with Bangladesh, while Meghalaya shares a 443-km border with the 40-year-old nation.

Kalaichar, which is in the western part of Meghalaya, is about 400 km from Shillong, the state capital of Meghalaya.

(R. R. Kharmujai can be contacted at









  Bookmark and Share

Home | Top of the Page



Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of

Comments powered by DISQUS




Top Stories

Yeddyurappa fast running out of options

Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa's options to stay on in power are dwindling, with the Lokayukta naming him in the report on illegal mining and police beginning to probe corruption cases against him.  

Illegal mining: 8 politicos, 500 officials and Rs.18 bn loss

Yeddyurappa, others named in illegal mining report: Santosh Hegde


  Most Read

'Catastrophic' twin attacks kill 87 in Norway

At least 87 people were killed Friday in "catastrophic" twin attacks in Norway - a massive bomb explosion in the capital here and a shooting at a governing Labour Party youth camp, police said. This is the  

Shutdown over alleged rape affects life in Kashmir

Normal life across Kashmir Valley was affected Saturday following a shutdown called by separatists against the alleged abduction and rape of a woman by army personnel in Jammu and Kashmir's 

Army orders probe into Kashmir abduction, rape allegation


  News Pick

Turkey slams Israel, calls for apology

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeated his country's demand for an Israeli apology over the 2010 Israeli attack on the Gaza-bound Freedom Flotilla. Erdogan demanded the apology in a two-day 

India-Bangladesh border haats reopen after 40 years

It made for an emotional moment when Indian and Bangladeshi traders met after 40 years at Kalaichar in Meghalaya where the traditional 'haats' along the border reopened Saturday. At 10 a.m., India Commerce 

HC stays NIA custody of Malegaon blast accused

The Bombay High Court July 22 granted an interim stay on the order of the MCOCA court that remanded three accused in the 2008 Malegaon blasts in the custody of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) last week. The 

India, Pakistan to ease cross-Kashmir trade, travel

Ahead of the ministerial level meeting with Pakistan, India Saturday talked tough on terror but hoped to unveil a slew of confidence-building 


Picture of the Day

Jamia Millia Vice Chancellor Najeeb Jang conferring the title 'Nishan-e-Azad' on Ambassador of Saudi Arabia Faisal Hasan Trad on July 20, 2011.



RSS  |  Contact us


| Quick links



Subscribe to

Ummid Assistant






About us




Government Schemes










Contact us





      Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange is part of the Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and conditions mentioned.

2010 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.