Sunday, November 27, 2022

India-Bangladesh talks to reopen Kalaichar border ‘haat’


The traditional border “haat” (border market) at Kalaichar in Meghalaya’s South West Garo Hills district bordering Bangladesh’s Kurigram district in Bangladesh, which has been closed for two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, is all set to re-open, an official said on Tuesday.
This was decided at a meeting of the India-Bangladesh Joint Border Haat Management Committee that was held between Deputy Commissioner of South West Garo Hills district, Gideon Kharmawphlang and District Magistrate of Kurigram, Mohammed Rezaul Karim held on Tuesday at the Kalaichar border ‘haat’ premises. “Both the sides mutually agreed to reopen Kalaichar Border Haat from November 30 or in the first week of December, 2022, which will function twice a week, viz. Monday and Wednesday,” Kharmawphlang told UNI over phone. “The officials also consented to trade 62 commodities, increase the number of vendors to 50, beautification of Border Haat premises and also repair the fencing around the ‘haat’ premises,” he informed, adding that the Border Haat Committees of the both the countries decided to sit for a meeting at least once a year. Officials said that with the recent agreement between border haat authorities of the two countries, the pending implementation of the agendas mutually agreed upon in the last meeting held in September 2019, would be implemented once the border haat reopens.
Presently, there are seven India-Bangladesh border haats, with nine more in the pipeline.
The border “haats” at Balat in Meghalaya’s East Khasi Hills district – Lauwaghar at Dalora under Sunamganj district in Bangladesh, the Ryngku in East Khasi Hills district -Bagan Bari Duara Bazar in Sunamganj district,
Nalikata in South West Khasi Hills-Saydabad, Tahirpur, Sunamganj district has already reopened.
The ‘haats’, were once thriving centres of trade and commerce along the India-East Pakistan (now read Bangladesh) were shut down after the creation of Bangladesh in 1971.
Border 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 life.

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