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https://www.theindependentbd.com/post/266159

5 August, 2021 10:07:35 AM

 

India for implementing MoU with Bangladesh in disaster management

India happy over Bangladesh’s joining CDRI

UNB, Dhaka

India has laid emphasis on implementation of the recently concluded memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bangladesh in the field of disaster management, resilience and mitigation on a priority basis.

“We must implement the recently-concluded MoU in the field of disaster management, resilience and mitigation on a priority basis,” said Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar in a letter sent to his Bangladesh counterpart Dr AK Abdul Momen.

Bangladesh and India signed a number of MoUs to enhance cooperation in various sectors, including disaster management, resilience, and mitigation during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh in March this year.

In the letter, Dr Jaishankar expressed confidence that these mechanisms will help the two countries remain better prepared to face such challenges in the future.

“We’re glad that Bangladesh has decided to accept our invitation to join the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure,” said the Indian External Affairs Minister.

The Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) is a partnership of national governments, UN agencies and programmes, multilateral development banks and financing mechanisms, the private sector, and knowledge institutions that aims to promote the resilience of new and existing infrastructure systems to climate and disaster risks in support of sustainable development.

The United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Argentina and Brazil are among the members of the initiative.

Dr Momen rightly pointed out that the entire world, in particular the South Asian region, is witnessing frequent climate related disasters, mentioned Dr Jaishankar in his letter.

The Indian External Affairs Minister also stated that capacity building, learning from each other’s best practices as well as extending support to each other is the need of the hour, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here.

Dr Jaishankar thanked Dr Momen for his condolence letter for the people who lost their lives in the recent floods in Maharashtra.

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https://bangla.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2021/08/08/37655

শিলিগুড়িকে বাণিজ্যকেন্দ্র বানাবে ভারত, ক্ষতির আশংকায় বাংলাদেশ

 

 সোহেল মামুন

 প্রকাশিত ০৮:৩০ রাত আগস্ট ৮, ২০২১

siliguri-junction-railway-station-collec

ভারতের নতুন পরিকল্পনা চট্টগ্রাম ও মংলা বন্দরের জন্য ঝুঁকির হলেও এটি পাকিস্তান ও আফগানিস্তানের জন্য লাভজনক হতে পারে

ভারতের উত্তর-পূর্ব অঞ্চলের প্রবেশদ্বার হিসেবে খ্যাত শিলিগুড়িকে একটি আন্তর্জাতিক বাণিজ্য কেন্দ্রে রূপান্তরিত করার পরিকল্পনা করছে দেশটির সরকার। যা বাণিজ্যিক সংযোগ স্থাপনার ক্ষেত্রে বাংলাদেশের জন্য সম্ভাব্য ক্ষতির কারণ হতে পারে।

এশিয়ান ডেভেলপমেন্ট ব্যাংকের (এডিবি) প্রকাশিত একটি প্রতিবেদনে বলা হয়েছে, শিলিগুড়ি নেপালের পানিতানকি, ভুটানের জয়গাঁও এবং বাংলাদেশের ফুলবাড়ী ও চ্যাংড়াবান্ধা এই চারটি সীমান্ত পয়েন্টে যুক্ত। একাধিক প্রতিবেশী দেশের নিকটবর্তী হওয়ার কারণে জায়গাটিকে ভারত সরকার বাণিজ্যের একটি প্রধান কেন্দ্র হিসেবে চিহ্নিত করেছে।

প্রতিবেদনে বলা হয়, শিলিগুড়িতে একটি মাল্টিমোডাল (সড়ক ও রেলভিত্তিক) অভ্যন্তরীণ শুল্ক এবং ছাড়পত্র ডিপো (আইসিডি) তৈরি করা হয়েছে যা বাংলাদেশ, ভুটান এবং নেপালকে সরবরাহ করা হবে। টার্মিনালটি ভারতের জাতীয় মহাসড়ক ৩১ডি-র কাছে নিউ জলপাইগুড়ি রেলওয়ে স্টেশনের পাশেই অবস্থিত। যা বাংলাদেশ, ভারত এবং নেপালকে সংযুক্ত করা এশিয়ান হাইওয়ে ২-এর এবং বাংলাদেশ, ভারত ও ভুটানকে সংযুক্ত করা এশিয়ান হাইওয়ে ৪৮ থেকে ৪৫ কিলোমিটার দূরে।

বাংলাদেশ-ভুটান-ভারত-নেপাল মোটর যানবাহন চুক্তির (বিবিআইএন-এমভিএ) অধীনে, শিলিগুড়ি দক্ষিণ এশিয়ার সড়ক নেটওয়ার্কের একটি গুরুত্বপূর্ণ পয়েন্ট হবে। শিলিগুড়ি এশিয়ান হাইওয়ে নেটওয়ার্কেরও অংশ, যা বাংলাদেশের মাধ্যমে থাইল্যান্ড এবং মিয়ানমারের সাথে বিবিআইএন দেশগুলোকে সংযুক্ত করবে।

সেন্টার ফর পলিসি ডায়ালগের (সিপিডি) আঞ্চলিক সংযোগ বিশেষজ্ঞ এবং গবেষণা পরিচালক ড. খন্দকার গোলাম মোয়াজ্জেম বলেন, “মূল পরিকল্পনা ছিল এশিয়ান হাইওয়ে নেটওয়ার্কের আওতায় মিয়ানমার এবং থাইল্যান্ড বাংলাদেশের মাধ্যমে ভারত, নেপাল এবং ভুটানের সঙ্গে সংযুক্ত হবে। কিন্তু ভারতের একটি বিকল্প সড়ক নেটওয়ার্ক তৈরির পরিকল্পনা এতে বাধা হতে পারে।”

তিনি ঢাকা ট্রিবিউনকে বলেন, “ভারতের নতুন এই পরিকল্পনা অনুযায়ী মিয়ানমার এবং থাইল্যান্ডকে উত্তর-পূর্ব ভারতের আসাম, মেঘালয়, ত্রিপুরা এবং মিজোরামকে শিলিগুড়ির মধ্য দিয়ে ও বাংলাদেশকে পরিভ্রমণ করে সংযুক্ত করবে।”

ড. মোয়াজ্জেম আরও বলেন, “এই ধরনের পদক্ষেপ চট্টগ্রাম ও মংলা বন্দরের সম্ভাবনাকেও ক্ষতিগ্রস্ত করবে।”

তিনি মনে করেন, শিলিগুড়ি এবং সড়ক ও রেল নেটওয়ার্কের মধ্যে সরাসরি যোগাযোগের কারণে ও শিলিগুড়ি আইসিডি সম্পূর্ণভাবে চালু হলে কলকাতা বন্দর আরও প্রাণবন্ত হয়ে উঠবে। অন্যদিকে, কলকাতা বন্দর ব্যবহারের মাধ্যমে আইসিডি পাকিস্তানি ও আফগান ব্যবসায়ীদের জন্যও সুসংবাদ বয়ে আনবে।

এ বিষয়ে সড়ক পরিবহন ও সেতু মন্ত্রণালয়ের আঞ্চলিক সংযোগ সম্পর্কিত থিম্যাটিক গ্রুপের একজন সদস্য বলেন, মূল পরিকল্পনা অনুযায়ীই এশিয়ান হাইওয়েতে কাজ চলছে।

নাম প্রকাশে অনিচ্ছুক ওই কর্মকর্তা বলেন, মিয়ানমারের সঙ্গে সংযোগ স্থাপনের জন্য ভারতের রাজ্যের মধ্য দিয়ে যেকোনো বিকল্প রুট আন্তর্জাতিক ব্যবসায়ীদের জন্য ব্যয়বহুল হবে।

“ফলে ব্যবসায়ীদের তুলনামূলকভাবে সময় এবং খরচ সাশ্রয়ী সড়ক পথ বেছে নিতে হবে,” তিনি যোগ করেন।

রেল যোগাযোগ

এডিবি’র রিপোর্ট অনুসারে, শিলিগুড়ি আইসিডি’র ৩৫ হাজার বর্গ মিটারের একটি রেল-হ্যান্ডলিং এলাকা ও দু’টি হ্যান্ডলিং রেল লাইন রয়েছে।

শিলিগুড়ি আইসিডি ব্যবহার করে দক্ষিণ-এশীয় দেশগুলোর মধ্যে বাণিজ্যকে শক্তিশালী করার জন্য পশ্চিমবঙ্গের হলদিবাড়ি থেকে বাংলাদেশের চিলাহাটি রেলওয়ে করিডোরটি ৫৫ বছর পর গত ১ আগস্ট চালু করা হয়েছিল।

হলদিবাড়ি রেলওয়ে স্টেশন থেকে আন্তর্জাতিক সীমান্তের মধ্যে দূরত্ব ৪.৫ কিলোমিটার আর চিলাহাটি ও জিরো পয়েন্ট থেকে দূরত্ব প্রায় ৭.৫ কিলোমিটার।

৫৫ বছর পর চালু হওয়া এ রেল সংযোগ উদ্বোধনী অনুষ্ঠানে, উত্তর-পূর্ব সীমান্ত রেলওয়ের প্রধান জনসংযোগ কর্মকর্তা সুবহান চন্দ বলেন, “রুটটি কলকাতা-শিলিগুড়ি প্রধান লাইনের অংশ হিসাবে আসাম, পশ্চিমবঙ্গ, নেপাল এবং ভুটান থেকে বাংলাদেশে পণ্য পরিবহনের জন্য সকয় সাশ্রয়ী হিসেবে ব্যবহার করা হবে।”

এর বাইরে, ভারতের নিউ জলপাইগুড়ি থেকে ঢাকার সঙ্গে ৫১৩ কিলোমিটার দূরত্বের একটি ট্রেন পরিষেবারও ঘোষণা হয়েছিল। পরিষেবাটি বাংলাদেশের স্বাধীনতার সুবর্ণজয়ন্তী উপলক্ষে এ বছরের ২৬ মার্চ থেকে শুরু হওয়ার কথা থাকলেও করোনাভাইরাস মহামারির কারণে তা আপাতত স্থগিত রাখা হয়েছে।

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https://thefinancialexpress.com.bd/trade/traders-seek-permission-to-export-hilsa-to-india-1628908759

Traders seek permission to export hilsa to India

 REZAUL KARIM | Published:  August 14, 2021 08:39:19 | Updated:  August 14, 2021 11:02:31

A good number of traders have sought permission to export hilsa fish to neighbouring India ahead of Durga Puja, the biggest religious festival of the Hindu community.

Usually, there remains a higher demand for delicious hilsa fish in India especially in West Bengal during the annual religious festival.

Around 60 private firms have already sought permission from the commerce ministry to export hilsa to the neighbouring country on the occasion of the festival, a senior official said.

He said the firms have recently requested the ministry to give special approval in this regard. More traders are likely to apply for exporting hilsa fish to India.

Nearly 200 people applied for permission to export hilsa last year. Of them, only nine got export facility, he added.

In September 2020, the government allowed export of 1,475 tonnes of hilsa to India as a gesture of goodwill on the occasion of Durga Puja.

In 2019, the government gave permission to export 500 tonnes of hilsa during Durga Puja.

Hilsa export has remained suspended since 2012.

When contacted, commerce secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh said, "We have yet to take any decision about export of national fish hilsa to India during the upcoming Durga Puja."

The commerce ministry allowed export of hilsa fish last year, he added.

The country produces more or less 0.55 million tonnes of hilsa annually, a source involved with the sector said.

"We have received a significant number of applications and are now working on the issue," said a high official of the commerce ministry.

Some firms who applied for permission said they are eager to export the country's hilsa fish to India.

When contacted, managing director of J.J trading International Masba Uddin said, "If we get permission to export hilsa fish to India on the occasion of Durga Puja, we will be able to export such consignment properly as we have already taken required steps in this regard."

Market observers, however, said allowing export of hilsa might have an impact on the prices of delicious fish in the domestic market.

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https://thefinancialexpress.com.bd/bn/ভারতের-মিজোরামে-ট্রান্সশিপমেন্ট:-বাংলাদেশের-বিবেচনায়-বাণিজ্য-ও-নিরাপত্তা-সংশ্লিষ্ট-বিষয়-1629002810

ভারতের মিজোরামে ট্রান্সশিপমেন্ট: বাংলাদেশের বিবেচনায় বাণিজ্য ও নিরাপত্তা সংশ্লিষ্ট বিষয়

 সাইফুল ইসলাম | Published:  August 15, 2021 10:46:50

ভারতের স্থলবেষ্টিত রাজ্য মিজোরামে পণ্য পরিবহনের উদ্দেশ্যেই মূলত থেগা নদীতে সেতু নিমার্ণের যে প্রস্তাব নয়াদিল্লি ঢাকাকে দিয়েছে,সে বিষয়ে পদক্ষেপ নেবার আগে ঢাকা এর সম্ভাব্যতা যাচাই (ফিজিবিলিটি স্টাডি) করতে চায়।

এই প‌থে যোগা‌যোগ স্থাপন হ‌লে প্রতি‌বে‌শি দেশটিতে বাংলা‌দে‌শের পণ‌্য রপ্তানির উপর সম্ভাব্য প্রভাব নিরূপণের জন‌্যই এই স্টাডি সম্পন্নের বিষয়টি বিবেচনা করছে বাংলাদেশ। 

কর্মকর্তারা আরও জানিয়েছেন, ভারতের পূর্বাঞ্চলের এই রাজ্য মিজোরাম একসময় ছিল সংঘাতসঙ্কুল। আর তাই এই রাজ্যের প্রত্যন্ত অঞ্চলগুলোর সঙ্গে যোগাযোগ স্থাপনের (কানেকটিভিটি) ক্ষেত্রে নিরাপত্তার বিষয়টিও সর্বোচ্চ বিবেচনায় রাখছে বাংলাদেশ।

সম্প্রতি আয়োজিত এক আন্তঃমন্ত্রণালয় বৈঠকে রাঙ্গামাটির থেগামুখ দিয়ে সীমান্ত খুলে দেবার ভারতীয় প্রস্তাব পর্যালোচনার পর সম্ভাব্যতা নিরূপণের সিদ্ধান্তটি নেওয়া হয়। ভারত তাদের উত্তর-পূর্বাঞ্চলের দূরবর্তী রাজ্যগুলোতে পণ্য পরিবহনের জন্য চট্টগ্রাম সমুদ্রবন্দরের মধ্য দিয়ে কানেকটিভিটি জোরদার করতে চাচ্ছে।

সুত্রমতে, ভারতের উত্তর-পূর্বাঞ্চলীয় রাজ্যগুলোর সঙ্গে সংযোগ স্থাপনের পর সেগুলোর সঙ্গে বাংলাদেশের রপ্তানি-বাণিজ্যে যে প্রভাব পড়বে তা নিয়ে সংশয়ে রয়েছে বাণিজ্য মন্ত্রণালয় ও জাতীয় রাজস্ব বোর্ড।

আন্তঃমন্ত্রণালয় বৈঠকে এই দুটি সরকারি সংস্থার প্রতিনিধিরাও উপস্থিত ছিলেন। রপ্তানির উপর যেসব প্রভাব পড়তে পারে সেগুলোর মূল্যায়ন করতে একটি ফিজিবিলিটি স্টাডি হওয়া দরকার বলে মত দেন বাণিজ্য মন্ত্রণালয়ের প্রতিনিধি।

চলমান কোভিড মহামারীতে সবকিছু বিপর্যস্ত হয়ে পড়ার বিষয়টি বিবেচনায় নিয়ে থেগামুখ-ডেমাগিরি সীমান্তে যৌথ পরিদর্শনের পরিকল্পনা আপাতত মুলতবি রাখা হয়ে‌ছে ব‌লে জানান তি‌নি।

তি‌নি আরও জানান, ওই এলাকায় সীমান্ত-হাট স্থাপনের জন্য মিজোরামের বাণিজ্য মন্ত্রণালয়ের প্রস্তাবে বাংলাদেশ সম্মতি দিয়েছে। সীমান্ত-হাটের মাধ্যমে দুটি দেশের মধ্যেকার প্রাতিষ্ঠানিক সীমান্ত-বাণিজ্য সহজতর হবে।

সভায় জাতীয় রাজস্ব বোর্ডের প্রতিনিধি বলেন, পার্বত্যাঞ্চলের খাগড়াছড়ি জেলার অন্তর্গত রামগড় ও রাঙ্গামাটি জেলার থেগামুখে শুল্ক স্টেশন স্থাপনের ঘোষণা দেওয়া হয়েছে। কিন্তু, এ অঞ্চল ঘিরে বাণিজ্যিক লেনদেন নেই বলে এ-যাবত সেখানে কোনো ধরনের অবকাঠামো গড়ে ওঠেনি।

সভায় রাজস্ব বোর্ডের প্রতিনিধি বলেন, থেগা নদীতে সেতু নির্মাণের মাধ্যমে প্রস্তাবিত সংযোগ রুট স্থাপন করা হলে কোলকাতা থেকে সরাসরি কম খরচে ভারতের উত্তর-পূর্বাঞ্চলীয় রাজ্যগুলোতে মালামাল পরিবহন সম্ভব হবে। তাঁর মতে, এর ফলে এসব রাজ্যে বাংলাদেশি পণ্যের রপ্তানি কমে যাবে বলেই বিষয়টি নিয়ে ফিজিবিলিটি স্টাডি হওয়া জরুরি।

ভারতের ত্রিপুরা ও মিজোরামে বাংলাদেশি পণ্যের চাহিদা রয়েছে বলেই আখাউড়া ও বিবিরবাজার স্থলবন্দর দিয়ে বর্ধিত পরিমাণে পণ্য রপ্তানি হচ্ছে। দেশের অন্যান্য স্থলবন্দরের ক্ষেত্রে পণ্য আমদানির তুলনায় রপ্তানি অনেক বেশি পিছিয়ে রয়েছে।

জাতীয় রাজস্ব বোর্ডের প্রতিনিধি এ-প্রসঙ্গে গুরুত্বপূর্ণ একটি দিক তুলে ধরে বলেন যে, আখাউড়া থেকে ভারতের রাজ্যগুলোর ভেতর দিয়ে মিয়ানমার হয়ে সড়কপথে থাইল্যান্ডের সঙ্গে সংযোগ স্থাপনের বাংলাদেশের সাম্প্রতিক প্রস্তাবে ভারত এখনও ইতিবাচক সাড়া দেয়নি।

২০২০ সালের আদমশুমারি অনুসারে মিজোরামের জনসংখ্যা মাত্র ১৩ লাখ— এ-কথার উল্লেখ করে স্বরাষ্ট্র মন্ত্রণালয়ের একজন প্রতিনিধি বলেন, “এত অল্প জনসংখ্যার এই ভারতীয় রাজ্যটিতে বাংলাদেশের বাণিজ্যের যে বৃদ্ধি ঘটতে পারে, সেটির সঙ্গে নিরাপত্তা-সংশ্লিষ্ট বিষয়ের আনুপাতিক হিসাবটি সর্বাধিক গুরুত্ব দিয়ে বিচার করতে হবে।”

প্রস্তাবিত এলাকাটি বন্যহাতির চলাচলের রুট এবং প্রকল্পটির বাস্তবায়ন হলে সেখানে বন্যপ্রাণির স্বাভাবিক চলাচলে বিঘ্ন ঘটবে বলে জানান পরিবেশ অধিদপ্তরের একজন প্রতিনিধি। 

আন্তঃমন্ত্রণালয় সভার সিদ্ধান্ত নিয়ে বাণিজ্য মন্ত্রণালয়ের ঊর্ধ্বতন এক কর্মকর্তার সঙ্গে যোগাযোগ করা হলে তিনি ফিন্যান্সিয়াল এক্সপ্রেসকে বলেন, মহামারী পরিস্থিতি খানিকটা স্বাভাবিক হলেই মিজোরামের সঙ্গে কানেকটিভিটি স্থাপনের প্রেক্ষিতে রপ্তানির উপর সম্ভাব্য প্রভাব যাচাইয়ের জন্য ফিজিবিলিটি স্টাডি শুরু করা হবে। 

তবে, তিনি বলেন, ভারতে বাংলাদেশের রপ্তানির পরিমাণ খুবই কম এবং এ অবস্থায় থেগামুখ অঞ্চল দিয়ে সংযোগ স্থাপন আমাদের রপ্তানি বাণিজ্যকে আরও সঙ্কুচিত করে ফেলতে পারে।

সাম্প্রতিক বছরগুলোতে বাংলাদেশ ভারতকে স্থল ও জলপথে ট্রান্সশিপমেন্ট সুবিধা দিয়েছে।

সেই সঙ্গে, ভারত তাদের নিজস্ব পণ্য প্রত্যন্ত অঞ্চলগুলোতে পরিবহনের সুবিধার জন্য বাংলাদেশের সমুদ্রবন্দরগুলো ব্যবহারের অনুমোদনও পেয়েছে।

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https://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2021/08/15/west-bengal-bjp-chief-vows-to-undivided-india

West Bengal BJP chief vows to ‘undivided’ India

 Tribune Desk

 Published at 02:22 pm August 15th, 2021

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Maps showing Bangladesh as being part of India are very often shared by Indian Hindu right wing leaders on social media

In an interesting turn of events, a senior leader of Indian ruling party has taken oath for what he termed an undivided India while sharing its map incorporating Bangladesh on Twitter.

Ever since being posted on Saturday afternoon, the tweet kept on garnering sharp criticism. 

14th August is the day of solemn vow & oath for "#AkhandaBharatSankalpaDiwas (undivided Bharat)", the tweet of Dilip Ghosh, president of the West Bengal state unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), reads. 

The call followed his claim in the same tweet: “From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, Gandhar to Brahmadesh, this is our Bharatbarsha, this is our holy motherland."

This is not the first time such a gaffe has been made. Maps showing Bangladesh as being part of India are very often shared by the Hindu right wing leaders on social media. 

Basically, Hindu nationalist group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has been patronizing the concept of an undivided India, which is strongly backed by many senior and key BJP leaders including Amit Shah. 

Dilip’s tweet coincides with the celebration of “Akhand Bharat Day” by the RSS and its affiliates celebrated on Saturday. The day was supposed on be marked in many other places on Sunday, when India observes its Independence Day. 

Many BJP leaders have also posted on social media in support of the RSS’s program.

Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared August 14 as “Partition Horrors Remembrance Day” to acknowledge the suffering of citizens during a traumatic period in history on Saturday. 

Modi and his party, BJP, have themselves been accused of diving India along religious lines.

The reactions

One of the Twitter users named Pradeep wrote: “Go to Pakistan and contest in election there. Why are you here in India? Once you win there you can plan for the Akhand Bharat.”

Another account named after Bumble Bee tweeted: “Pls immediately leave for Afganistan they need people like you to fight Taliban. Afterall its a part of your Akhanda Bharat.”

Many Bangladeshis also expressed their resentment on the BJP leader’s tweet. 

“As a Bangladeshi I used to get angry at such insensitive take on my country's sovereignty.

Now I am just amused at these clowns day dreaming,” Sadab Adhit mentioned.

However, many defended Dilip’s tweet, pledging to help implement the plan.  

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41 minutes ago, Nihonjin Karatumo said:

Damn, hypoxemia taking serious toll on collective indian psyche.

Where do they get this audacity?

 

 

They are suffering from inferiority complex dear. 

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https://www.dhakatribune.com/world/2021/08/16/bd-india-flight-operations-are-likely-by-this-week

BD-India flight operations likely to resume this week

 BSS

 Published at 07:10 pm August 16th, 2021

CAAB proposes 21 flights per week for the operators of both countries 

Flight operation between Bangladesh and India is likely to resume this week under the air bubble agreement signed last year between the two countries to facilitate the movement of passengers and goods.

As per the pact, both countries can operate international flights with certain restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sources close to the development told BSS on Monday that the operation of flights in various destinations of both the countries may resume by August 18 as the Indian authorities hinted to give its consent to this end at any day after India’s Independence Day celebration on August 15.

Earlier, the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) sent a letter to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) of India seeking its approval for resumption of the flight operations from August 11 under the air bubble agreement.

“In view of urgency of movement of the people of both the neighboring countries, the ongoing Covid-9 pandemic situations of Bangladesh and India were reviewed and evaluated…it feels that such operations should be continued until the resumption of scheduled passenger flights…,” the letter read.

The CAAB said that the passengers to and from Bangladesh and India have to strictly follow some Covid-19 protocol to contain the spread of the deadly virus.    

Sources from Bangladesh Biman and Bangladesh mission in New Delhi said that they are expecting that the flights between Bangladesh and India to be resumed by the next two days.

In the letter, CAAB proposed 21 flights per week for the operators of both countries for the time being.

Under this proposal, Biman Bangladesh Airlines will operate nine flights in Dhaka-Kolkata/Chennai/Delhi-Dhaka routes while two flights in Chittagong-Kolkata/Chennai/Delhi-Chittagong.

US Bangla airlines will operate seven flights in Dhaka-Kolkata/Chennai/Delhi-Dhaka and Novo Air to operate one flight in Dhaka-Kolkata/Chennai/Delhi-Dhaka routes.       

In another development, the Indian Visa Application Centres (IVAC) in Bangladesh resumed operations from August 10 in the wake of the lifting of countrywide lockdown in both countries.

The 15 IVAC across Bangladesh will accept all applications except tourist visa applications, a statement of the Indian High Commission in Dhaka said.

Earlier, the Indian High Commission in Bangladesh temporarily suspended operations at all its visa centres across Bangladesh due to the lockdown implemented by the Bangladesh government from April 14.

Reports said more than 3,500 Bangladeshis travel to India daily on an average basis and of them over 10% used to travel for medical purposes.

Out of the foreigners who visit India for medical purposes, 45% are from Bangladesh, according to the India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

More than 13.7 million foreigners took treatment in India between January 2018 and March 2019. They included 2.8 million Bangladeshis, the report added.

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https://thefinancialexpress.com.bd/bn/এয়ার-বাবল:-ভারতের-সঙ্গে-ফ্লাইট-চালু-শুক্রবার-1629208529

এয়ার বাবল: ভারতের সঙ্গে ফ্লাইট চালু শুক্রবার

Published:  August 17, 2021 19:55:29

‘এয়ার বাবল’ চুক্তির আওতায় শুক্রবার থেকে ভারতের সঙ্গে বিমান চলাচল শুরু হবে বলে জানিয়েছেন পররাষ্ট্রমন্ত্রী এ কে আব্দুল মোমেন। খবর বিডিনিউজ টোয়েন্টিফোর ডটকমের।

মঙ্গলবার ঢাকায় ভারতীয় হাই কমিশনার বিক্রম দোরাইস্বামীর উপস্থিতিতে এক অনুষ্ঠানে সাংবাদিকদের প্রশ্নে একথা জানান তিনি।

পররাষ্ট্রমন্ত্রী বলেন, “২০ অগাস্ট থেকে শুরু হবে। বাংলাদেশে অনেক রোগীর দিক থেকে এখানে প্রচুর চাহিদা রয়েছে। আমরা সেজন্য ভারতকে অনুরোধ করেছিলাম। ভারত এক্ষেত্রে রাজি হওয়ায় তাদেরকে ধন্যবাদ জানাই।”

বিশেষ পরিস্থিতিতে নিয়মিত ফ্লাইট বন্ধের সময় দুটি দেশ যখন বিশেষ ব্যবস্থায় নিজেদের মধ্যে বিমান যোগাযোগ স্থাপন করে, তাকে ‘এয়ার বাবল’ বলে।

করোনাভাইরাস মহামারীর মধ্যে গত বছরের অক্টোবরে ভারতের সঙ্গে ‘এয়ার বাবল’ চুক্তির আওতায় বিমান চলাচল শুরু করেছিল বাংলাদেশ।

এরপর চলতি বছরের এপ্রিলে মহামারীর কারণে ভারতে বিপর্যস্ত অবস্থার কারণে বিশেষ ব্যবস্থার ওই বিমান চলাচল বন্ধ হয়ে যায়।

মঙ্গলবার ঢাকায় রাষ্ট্রীয় অতিথি ভবন পদ্মায় ভারত সরকারের উপহারের অ্যাম্বুলেন্স হস্তান্তর অনুষ্ঠানে এয়ার বাবল পুনরায় চালুর খবর দেন পররাষ্ট্রমন্ত্রী মোমেন।

অনুষ্ঠানে ভারত থেকে অক্সফোর্ড-অ্যাস্ট্রাজেনেকার টিকা সরবরাহের অগ্রগতি জানতে চাইলে তার কোনো দিনক্ষণ জানাতে পারেননি ভারতীয় হাই কমিশনার দোরাইস্বামী।

তিনি বলেন, “এটা এখন ভারতের চাহিদা মেটানোর প্রক্রিয়ায় আছে। আমাদের কোভিড পরিস্থিতির অবনতি হওয়ায় আমরা ভারতের চাহিদা মেটানোর দিকে মনোযোগ দিয়েছিলাম।

“এর মধ্যে আমরা অক্সিজেনসহ অন্যান্য চিকিৎসা সামগ্রী পাঠানোর কাজ এতদিন করেছিলাম। আশা করি, ভারতে আমাদের চাহিদা মিটে গেলে বাংলাদেশেও পাঠানো শুরু হবে।”

ভারতের সেরাম ইনস্টিটিউটে উৎপাদিত অ্যাস্ট্রাজেনেকার টিকা দিয়ে গত ফেব্রুয়ারিতে বাংলাদেশে গণটিকাদান শুরু হয়েছিল।

সেরাম ইনস্টিটিউটে তৈরি কোভিশিল্ড টিকার ৩ কোটি ডোজ কিনতে চুক্তি করেছিল সরকার। কিন্তু ৭০ লাখ ডোজ আসার পর ভারত রপ্তানিতে নিষেধাজ্ঞা দিলে আর চালান আসেনি।

ভারত থেকে কেনা টিকা পাঠানো নিয়ে কাজ চলছে মন্তব্য করে দোরাইস্বামী বলেন, “আমরা বলছি না, আমাদের সরবরাহ নাই। ভারতে সঙ্কট মিটে গেলে আমরা পাঠাব।

“আমরা বলছি, যখনই সম্ভব হবে আমরা টিকা পাঠাব। কারণ, বাংলাদেশ আমাদের অগ্রাধিকার তালিকায় আছে। বাংলাদেশ টিকা কেনার বিষয়ে প্রতিশ্রুতিবদ্ধ। আমরা এটা নিয়ে কাজ করছি।”

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https://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/nation/2021/08/20/teesta-flowing-above-danger-level-as-india-opens-barrage-gates

Teesta flowing above danger level as India opens barrage gates

 UNB

 Published at 09:16 pm August 20th, 2021

India opened 44 gates of the Teesta Barrage to control water flow 

The water level of the Teesta River in Lalmonirhat and surrounding areas is flowing above the danger level triggered by an onrush of water from the upstream.

Abdullah Al Mamun, an executive of the Water Development Board (WDB), said that 44 gates of the Teesta Barrage on the Indian side had been kept open to control the flow of water.

“Water level of the river was flowing 8cm above its danger mark around 9am," the WDB Flood Forecasting Warning Center said.

Due to the onrush, the low-lying areas around the Teesta Barrage including Dahagram of Patgram Upazila, Gaddimari of Hatibandha Upazila, Singimari, Sinduna, Dauabari of Patikapara, Votmari of Kaliganj Upazila, Shailmari, Nohali, Charbairati, Choraha of Mahishkhocha Union of Aditmari Upazila, Rajpur of South Balapara and  Gokunda Union have been inundated.

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https://www.tbsnews.net/bangladesh/west-bengal-will-become-bangladesh-2-without-nrc-says-indian-opposition-leader-290983#.YSCBWoQU7m0.facebook

TBS Report

21 August, 2021, 10:20 am

Last modified: 21 August, 2021, 11:49 am

West Bengal will become Bangladesh 2 without NRC, says Indian opposition leader

screenshot_2021-08-21_102825.png?itok=Oo

'West Bengal will become Bangladesh 2': Suvendu Adhikari bats for NRC, gets support from Tathagata Roy | Twitter/@SuvenduWB

Indian Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari claimed that NRC is needed in West Bengal, or else, West Bengal will become 'Bangladesh 2'.

Senior BJP leader and former Governor of Tripura Tathagata Roy supported Suvendu's claim on Friday. In a tweet, he said that Suvendu's claim is '100 per cent correct', reports Free Press Journal.

"Suvendu has raised question in favour of NRC and CAA in West Bengal which is very much needed. We need to learn lessons from Yogi Adityanath and Hemanta Biswa Sarma and implement them in West Bengal or else West Bengal will become Bangladesh 2. Suvendu's claim is 100 per cent correct," wrote Tathagata in Bengali.

Several BJP leaders, including BJP Bongaon MP Shantanu Thakur, have repeatedly urged the central government to implement CAA in Bengal, but citing the pandemic, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said during his election campaign that the BJP government would implement CAA in West Bengal after the pandemic is contained.

A big number of Matuas in Bongaon moved to the BJP from the TMC in the hopes of getting CAA and NRC.

Both Suvendu and Tathagata have been criticised by TMC spokesperson and state general secretary Kunal Ghosh over the NRC issue.

"In Assam, by creating detention camp several people were became homeless and they are away from their relatives. A person is known by the company he keeps. BJP is communal party and is unnecessary trying to create tension," mentioned Kunal.

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Kolkata: Talks fail, no Bangladesh flights now

Subhro Niyogi and Prithvijit Mitra | TNN | Updated: Aug 21, 2021, 08:10 IST

The flights between the two countries were suspended in April during the height of the second wave.

KOLKATA: The Biman Bangladesh flights that were to resume on Sunday have been called off as an agreement on the resumption of flights could not be reached between the aviation authorities.

The announcement led to a gloom across the city’s hospitality sector and private hospitals that were getting ready to welcome back patients from Bangladesh, who accounted for around 8%-10% of footfalls till the pandemic.

“We had scheduled the resumption of flights from Sunday with the other two weekly services on Tuesday and Thursday. But we have not received permission from Indian authorities. Once an agreement is signed, we will announce the new dates,” a Biman Bangladesh official told TOI.

This will mean that SpiceJet and IndiGo flights that were also scheduled to resume will now be cancelled. While SpiceJet was supposed to start services on August 26, IndiGo was to start flights the next day. The flights between the two countries were suspended in April during the height of the second wave.

The news of the flight cancellation has dampened the spirit in the New Market-Sudder Street-Marquis Street-Free School Street-Park Street belt as well as hospitals in the city where Bangladeshis are a key clientele.

Bangladeshis account for over 50% sales at New Market, 70% business in hotels, guest houses and foreign currency exchanges on Sudder Street, Marquis Street, Free School Street, Royd Street and Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road and 80% of the transport business in the area.

“We are disappointed since 20 online appointments had been issued to Bangladeshi patients who were to take the first few flights. Enquiries had been pouring in and we expected the number to proliferate with flights getting regular. But this is a setback for both Bangladeshi patients and us. They may now look for treatment in south-east Asian countries,” said Peerless Hospital CEO Sudipta Mitra.

Till the pandemic, 15% of Peerless’ patients would be from Bangladesh. They contributed 8%-10% of the hospital’s annual revenue.

AMRI Hospitals that had received 3,000 Bangladeshi patients a month across its three units before the pandemic already processed 300-400 visa invitation forms for Bangladesh patients who were scheduled to visit next week.

Most of them have emergency surgeries or treatment lined up, according to AMRI CEO Rupak Barua. “They mostly visit for complicated neuro and gastric surgeries that can’t wait. So, we will end up losing these patients,” said Barua.

More than 35 Bangladesh patients were listed for surgeries and consultations at CMRI Hospital over the next few weeks, according to COO Simmardeep Gill.

Ruby Hospital, too, was left disappointed by the flight cancellation.

“We were looking forward to welcoming them back since they generate a fair share of our revenue. We had issued 11 visa invitation forms to Bangladeshi citizens over the last one week. Most of them are cancer and haemotology patients who were planning to visit our hospital for long-term treatment. They can’t defer their treatment and will settle for other countries, which is unfortunate,” said

Ruby Hospital general manager – operations Subhashish Datta.

The return of patients is also crucial for tourism and business in Kolkata, said Travel Agents’ Federation of India chairman (East) Anil Punjabi.

“They invariably visit with families and do a lot of shopping that help the places like New Market and the shopping centres around it in central Kolkata. Their return would have helped the local economy,” Punjabi added
.
 

 

 

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These BJP nowadays seem to conflate Bangladeshi tourists with alleged "illegal Bangladeshis". All to help their election campaigns. But to what end? Do this people understand the ground reality?

It would've hit me hard, if I constantly get compared to an ''illegal" despite my money and my presence playing a pivotal to local economy. 

I hope one day, Bangladeshis has enough monetary solvency and options to stop going to india as a whole. 

Never travelled to that country, and I hope I don't have to! I do hope others realize that. 

Insults have limits, and Bangladeshis has high threshold of tolerance. 

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https://thefinancialexpress.com.bd/national/northern-central-regions-may-see-flooding-in-late-aug-1629725945

Northern, central regions may see flooding in late Aug

 SAJIBUR RAHMAN | Published:  August 23, 2021 19:39:05 | Updated:  August 23, 2021 21:20:53

1629725945.jpg

Thousands of people have been marooned in northern Kurigram and Sirajganj district as waters of rivers such as the Padma, Jamuna, Dudhkumar, Gorai, Dhaleswari and Atrai have been flowing above danger marks.

Medium to heavy rainfall is likely to occur in the country’s north and northeastern regions and upstream regions in India’s West Bengal, Assam and Meghalaya in the next 72 hours, according to a Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) bulletin issued on Monday.

Consequently, it said, the water levels of Teesta, Dharala, Dudhkumar, Brahmaputra and rivers in the upper Meghna basin may rise rapidly.

Already, about 10,000-12,000 people in low-lying areas under Sadar, Shahjadpur, Kazipur and Belkuchi upazilas of Sirajganj have been stranded at homes as Jamuna waters inundated villages in the past few days, executive engineer of Water Development Board, Sirajganj, Shofiqul Islam told The Financial Express.

However, the flood situation there is expected to improve in the coming days.

Some 10,000 people in the char areas of Chilmari, Nageshwari and Sadar upazilas have been marooned, said Executive engineer of the board’s Kurigram office Md. Ariful Islam.

The flood situation in low-lying areas of Rajbari may deteriorate in the next three days until Thursday, the board’s executive engineer there Abdul Ahad said. He could not say how many people have been affected by the current flooding.

The flood situation in low-lying areas of Pabna, Manikganj, Rajbari, Faridpur and Shariatpur may slightly deteriorate, said the forecasting centre’s executive engineer M Arifuzzaman Bhuiyan.

The official forecast says the flood situation may deteriorate in different parts of the north and central parts of the country between August 27 and September 5.

The Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief said on Sunday that an amount of Tk 8.2 million was allocated for flood-affected people in 10 districts – Shariatpur, Chapainawabganj, Faridpur, Lalmonirhat, Pabna, Manikganj, Rajbari, Kushtia, Pabna, and Nilphamari.

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https://www.tbsnews.net/economy/spinners-pay-price-unproven-indian-organic-cotton-292705

Reyad Hossain

24 August, 2021, 10:50 pm

Last modified: 25 August, 2021, 10:36 am

Spinners pay price of unproven Indian organic cotton

At least 18 millers now fear huge losses following possible order cancellations as their buyers seek TCs as proof that the raw materials they collected from the spinning mills are made of organic cotton

the_unfair_trade_of_fake_organic_cotton-

 

A number of Bangladeshi spinners who imported organic cotton from India are in trouble as they are yet to get the authentication certificate – called a transaction certificate (TC) – from their suppliers in more than a year now.

At least 18 millers now fear huge losses following possible order cancellations as their buyers seek TCs as proof that the raw materials they collected from the spinning mills are made of organic cotton.

The millers have repeatedly tried to reach out to the suppliers to get the certificates – which are supposed to be provided within a month of the procurement, but to no avail, according to Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA).

The BTMA said some of the Indian suppliers had provided TCs for the supplied cotton, but the certificates were later proven fake and subsequently withdrawn by the Control Union.

The mills manufactured yarns and fabrics with the procured cotton and supplied those to factories nominated by local and foreign buyers and now some buyers have started seeking compensation from the millers for their losses on sales of products made with fabrics of uncertified cotton.

Against this backdrop, last month, the BTMA sent a letter to the Indian High Commission in Dhaka, the Cotton Association of India, the International Chamber of Commerce Bangladesh (ICCB) and other parties concerned, seeking measures to this end.

In the letter, the BTMA says its member mills have become victims of fraudulent activities and such unethical practice needs to be stopped.

"Since BTMA's member mills import cotton from India frequently, this kind of incident may deteriorate the existing bilateral relationship between Bangladeshi spinners and Indian cotton suppliers as the issue relates to huge financial implications," BTMA President Mohammad Ali Khokon said.

"We apprehend that this may lead to a misunderstanding between both countries as well," the BTMA president added.

The yarn made of organic cotton is sold directly to local garment entrepreneurs along with garment or textile factories nominated by foreign buyers, which are then exported abroad.

Bangladeshi importers say they import most organic cotton from India as the price is relatively lower in that country. A small amount of organic cotton is also imported from other countries.

According to the BTMA, Bangladesh imported 7.5 million bales of raw cotton in FY20, and more than a quarter of it came from India. But, the BTMA does not have information on the amount of organic cotton imported during this time.

According to the importers, Indian suppliers are not giving transaction certificates for 16,100 tonnes of organic cotton imported by 18 Bangladeshi companies against 23 LCs. Certificates were issued to only three importers, which were later revoked as they were fake.

As per Tuesday's rate, the import price of conventional cotton is $1.05 per pound, while that of organic cotton is $1.78 per pound. If the latest market price is taken into account, the cost of 16,100 tonnes of organic cotton would be around $63 million.

Envoy Textile Mills Limited, one of the largest textiles in the country, imported 600 tonnes of cotton from two Indian companies – Agritech Industries Pvt Ltd and Glossy Impex Pvt Ltd.

But, the mill has not got any TC from Agritech Industries. Glossy Impex provided Envoy with the certificate, but it was later proved to be fake.

Md Ataur Rahman, head of supply chain (cotton and yarn) at Envoy Textile, told The Business Standard, "We have already exported fabrics manufactured with that cotton and supplied to foreign buyers. But we could not give them the transaction certificates as we did not get those from the Indian suppliers.

"We think the organic cotton that Indian suppliers provided us is fake. That is why they cannot provide us certificates."

Maksons Spinning Mills Limited and Israq Textile Mills Ltd have also fallen victim to anomalies of Indian cotton suppliers.

"I imported 1,500 tonnes of cotton. They provided the TC but it was later cancelled. Many like me faced the same problem. We have already contacted our trade body, but have not got any solution," said Fazlul Haq, owner of Israq Textile Mills Ltd.

According to BTMA sources, they have identified at least nine Indian cotton exporters who are not certifying organic cotton or giving fake certificates. The list includes Agrotech Industries Pvt Ltd, Gujarat Cotton Corporation, Axiata Cotton Limited, Glossy Impex Pvt Ltd, Ghanshyam Agro Resources, Basil Commodities Pvt Ltd, Kratos Impex Ltd, Sri Salasar Balaji Agrotech Private Limited and Narendra Overseas.

An investigation, carried out by the Global Organic Textile Standards into organic cotton fraud in India, also revealed 20,000 tonnes of cotton were incorrectly certified as organic through a scam abusing the Indian government certification system, just-style reported November 2020.

Faruque Hassan, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), told TBS, "The certification problem apart, the price of organic cotton has also recently gone up. That is why we are discouraging our members to take orders for organic cotton-made clothing."

"The demand for organic cotton-made garments has increased worldwide. The price of this cotton is around 40% higher than the normal cotton. Cotton production requires a lot of fertilisers and pesticides, which are harmful to the human body. But organic cotton does not use any harmful chemicals," he said.

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https://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/nation/2021/08/29/flood-situation-deteriorates-in-brahmaputra-basin

Flood situation deteriorates in Brahmaputra basin

 BSS

 Published at 05:56 pm August 29th, 2021

Hundreds of homes submerged in floodwater 

The flood situation in Brahmaputra River basin of four upazilas in the district deteriorated further as the water level has increased in the last 24 hours, ending at 9am on Sunday due to incessant rainfall and the rush of hilly waters from the upstream.

Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) sources said the water level of the Brahmaputra River increased by 5cm during the period and the river was flowing 5cm above its danger mark at Fulchharighat point of the district.

As a result, the chars located on the river basin areas of Sundarganj, Sadar, Fulchhari, and Shaghata upazilas of the district have been inundated and many char people have been marooned and are passing their days in misery.

The low-lying areas located on the western side of the river were also inundated.

Abdus Salam Jakir, chairman of Kamarjani Union Parishad under Sadar upazila said with the rise of water level in the river, the river erosion has taken a serious turn at different points of the union and hundreds of houses of the union are submerged in the water creating untold suffering to the flood victims.

On the other hand, the water level of the rivers – the Teesta and the Ghagot – decreased significantly during the period and both the rivers were flowing below their danger levels.

Executive Engineer of BWDB Mokhlasur Rahman said as the Brahmaputra was flowing over its danger mark, the officials and employees of the board have been kept on high alert to protect the embankment from any kind of damage.

Gaibandha Superintendent of Police (SP) Mohammad Towhidul Islam said that police patrol by boats had been intensified to check piracy in the chars and western sides of the river.

Talking to BSS, Deputy Commissioner (DC) Abdul Matin said the district and the upazila administrations are fully prepared with relief materials and manpower to address the flood situation in the district efficiently.

They have also been monitoring the situation closely. The district administration is planning to open a control room to inform the people about the overall flood situation, the DC added.

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https://thefinancialexpress.com.bd/trade/export-import-through-benapole-land-port-suspended-1630319841

Export-Import through Benapole land port suspended

Published:  August 30, 2021 16:37:21

Export-import activities between Bangladesh and India through Benapole land port remained suspended since Monday morning due to Janmashtami holiday in India.

However, the passengers with passports are allowed to cross the border, reports UNB.

Kartik Chakraborty, general secretary of Petrapole C&F Agents Staff Welfare Association, India, said “The trade activities through Petrapole land port remained suspended due to holiday in India. The trade activities will resume on Tuesday.”

Deputy Commissioner of Benapole Customs House, Belal Hossain, said “The trade activities between the two countries remained suspended on Monday but the cargo unit of the port remained open for allowing empty truck to leave the port.”

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https://www.newagebd.net/article/148259/bringing-sohel-back-from-india-not-certain-yet-dmp-commissioner

Bringing Sohel back from India not certain yet: DMP commissioner

Staff Correspondent | Published: 14:14, Sep 05,2021

The Dhaka Metropolitan Police commissioner Shafiqul Islam on Sunday said that it was not certain whether the arrested inspector Sohel Rana could be brought back to Bangladesh from India since he was prosecuted in another country.

The commissioner said that they used to deal with such cases through the ministry; but he was not sure if it would be possible in this particular case.

‘We are trying to bring him back,’ he added.

Sohel was arrested in India after he was accused in a case filed with Gulshan police station over fraudulence.

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https://www.daily-sun.com/post/577161/New-Passenger-Terminal-Building-at-Petrapole-boost-trade-and-connectivity

New Passenger Terminal Building at Petrapole boost trade and connectivity

Petrapole.PNG

Diplomatic Correspondent

 17th September, 2021 05:27:09 PM

In a major boost to modernisation of border infrastructure and to further strengthen India’s connectivity with Bangladesh, a new Passenger Terminal Building was inaugurated at Integrated Check Post (ICP) Petrapole on Friday (Sept 17).

The inauguration was held jointly by officials from the Government of India and Government of Bangladesh. 
From the Indian side, the inauguration was done by Nityanand Rai, Minister of State for Home Affairs and Nisith Pramanik, Minister of State for Home Affairs. While Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury, Minister of State for Shipping, Government of Bangladesh was the Chief Guest from the Bangladesh side, said the High Commission of India (HCI), Dhaka. 

The inauguration took place in the presence of Vikram Doraiswami, High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh. Aditya Mishra, Chairman, Land Ports Authority of India and Md. Alamgir, Additional Secretary and Chairman, Bangladesh Land Port Authority were also present on the occasion.  

ICP Petrapole, the largest land port in South Asia, is the most important port for passengers coming from Bangladesh. It is also the ninth largest international immigration port of India, handling about 23 lakh passengers annually. 

Built by the Land Ports Authority of India, the new Passenger Terminal Building (PTB-I) is spread across an area of 1,305 Sqm and is designed to handle around 550 passengers at any point of time. The new PTB (I) will facilitate smooth and comfortable movement of passengers and is equipped with facilities such as Immigration, Customs and Security under one roof. 

The Terminal Building is also equipped with 32 immigration counters, 4 customs counters, 8 security counters and has adequate office spaces for allied stakeholders. 

As India-Bangladesh celebrate fifty momentous years of diplomatic partnership, all the esteemed dignitaries reaffirmed the importance of strengthening the bilateral relationship and putting in place requisite modern infrastructure facilitating greater people-to-people connectivity. 

Land Ports Authority of India (LPAI) is also in the process of constructing a new state-of-the-art Passenger Terminal Building (II) at ICP Petrapole which is planned to cater to half a million handling capacity. The construction work commenced in February 2020 and is expected to be completed by end of 2022. During the inaugural ceremony, the Chief Guests also laid the foundation stone of a common second cargo gate along the India-Bangladesh border. 

By setting an example of strong Border Agency Coordination between LPAI and Bangladesh Land Port Authority (BLPA), this move is expected to speed up the release/clearance of goods at the border crossing through a better institutional arrangement and further enhance bilateral trade and connectivity between the two countries.

 

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https://thefinancialexpress.com.bd/trade/dhakas-no-to-further-cut-in-customs-charges-on-indian-transhipment-1635129784

Dhaka’s no to further cut in customs charges on Indian transhipment

 SYFUL ISLAM | Published:  October 25, 2021 08:43:04 | Updated:  October 25, 2021 08:48:26

1635129784.jpg

Bangladesh held back from agreeing to cut customs charges further for India's use of Chittagong and Mongla seaports as transhipment routes for transporting cargoes to its landlocked northeastern states, officials said.

At the same time, no decision is taken regarding the amendment of two agreements allowing Bangladeshi traders to use India's ports for transporting cargoes to and from third countries, they added.

These are the two vital issues, among others, put on the negotiating table at the Indo-Bangla shipping secretary-level meeting held last week in New Delhi.

India used Chittagong port as a transhipment point on a trial run in July last year to carry four Indian containers to its states of Tripura and Assam.

In that trial run Bangladesh customs charged a total of Tk 554 per tonne, which include document-processing fee, transhipment fee, security charge, escort charge, other administrative fees, and scanning charge.

However, as India now wants to start regular transhipment of goods, the giant neighbour requested Bangladesh to lower the charges further, and the issue was discussed at the bilateral shipping secretary-level meeting last week.

Officials who attended the meeting told the FE that the two sides could not reach a consensus over the proposed rate cuts.

India wants to use Chittagong and Mongla ports to transport goods to its northeastern 'seven-sister' states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura.

Indian vehicles need to travel over 1,650 kilometres to carry goods from West Bengal to landlocked Agartala through Guwahati and the distance can go down significantly if it can use Chittagong and Mongla ports and Bangladesh territory. The freight transportation cost will also be cut down then.

For the Indian use of the two seaports of Bangladesh on the channels of the Bay of Bengal, Dhaka and Delhi signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) back in 2015. Thereafter, the two neighbours also signed an agreement in 2018 to this effect.

Officials said India also raised the issue of Bangladeshi traders' use of its seaports for transportation of cargoes to and from third countries, as a trade-off.

An amendment to the Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade (PIWTT) and Bangladesh-India coastal shipping agreement will be needed to clear the decks.

"In the meeting, no concrete decision on amendment of the two deals was taken," one official said.

Shipping Secretary Mohammad Mezbah Uddin Chowdhury, who led the Bangladesh delegation to the Delhi talks, told the FE Sunday the issue of lessening customs charges was discussed at the meeting but the negotiations could not be capped with a conclusion.

"We will further discuss the issue through videoconferencing," he said.

Mr Chowdhury further said the use of Indian ports by Bangladeshi traders was also discussed, but no concrete decision was taken on this score either.

Asked about the outcome of last week's meeting, he said the two sides had in-depth discussions but the points raised by them needed to be further examined.

"Both sides will take a decision on the issues discussed through the videoconferencing in a week," he added.

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