Border Haats
Border Haats

Border Haats in Tripura boost business ties between India-Bangladesh

ANI | Updated: Dec 13, 2018 19:41 IST

Sepahijala (Tripura) [India], Dec 13 (ANI): India and Bangladesh have historical relations bound by socio-cultural affinity. Apart from sharing a 4,096-km border along West Bengal, Tripura, Assam, Meghalaya and Mizoram, the two countries share history, common heritage, linguistic and cultural ties, passion for music, literature and art.
In order to strengthen the ties further, a joint team of governments of India and Bangladesh decided to establish Border Haats in different locations of the northeast region, an endeavour to boost trade ties.
At present, two border Haats are operational at Kamalasagar in Sepahijala district of Tripura and Srinagar in South Tripura district. Trading in these border Haats of Tripura has become a boon for the locals of both sides of the border
"Earlier I was unemployed but the border Haats have helped me a lot to earn a livelihood. I am a clothing material vendor and I earn a decent income and living a much more dignified life with my family. I am really happy to have a border Haats," said Babul Mia, Resident of Kamalasagar.
The border Haats is not only a market for buying daily commodities but also a reunion spot for families living on both sides.
The Border Haats or rural market in Tripura facilitates the bilateral trade of locally produced products of both the nations. It includes agricultural and horticultural crops, spices, poultry dairy products, cottage industry items, furniture, handicrafts and handloom products.
Gradually, the Border Haats have turned into a tourist spot for both local and the tourists travelling from outside to visit them and enjoy the charm of marketing in the zero line between India and Bangladesh.
"Border Haats are not only helping us to sell products but also our relatives can meet each other living in both sides of the border. The Border Haats have drastically brought down smuggling in border areas and this has helped us to sell our commodities openly. People in thousands from both the side used to come in Border Haats. Business was booming at that period of time," Said Litan Karmakar, a Bangladesh based blacksmith and vendor.
Since its inception, 500 people from both the sides were allowed to enter on every weekly market day.
The people now have been urging the authorities concerned to raise the number to 1000 considering the increasing demand.
Built at a cost of Rs. 2.44 crore, the Kamalasagar Border Haat, bordering Brahmanbaria district of Bangladesh is operational once in a week when equal numbers of identified traders or vendors from both sides living within a five km radius of the border are being allowed to sell and buy locally produced goods and crops.
Recently, the Border Haat Committee, comprising district level officials of India and Bangladesh, decided that the entry into the market shall be restricted to the people residing within a five-kilometre radius of the market and those coming from beyond will not be allowed to enter into the market. The same restriction is applicable to the traders also.
According to recent reports of Union Home Ministry, India is keen to set up 70 border markets along its border with Bangladesh where the northeast region will play a crucial role to facilitate the same.
At present, four Border Haats are operational along the India Bangladesh border. Two are located in Meghalaya's Kalaichar and Balat and other two is located in Tripura as mentioned above. (ANI)