• Sunday, Aug 09, 2020
  • Last Update : 11:34 pm

Covid-19: Trading resumes at Benapole port after 2 months

  • Published at 07:29 pm June 6th, 2020
Benapole Custom House
Photo of Benapole custom house Dhaka Tribune

Activities at Benapole were suspended on March 22 due to the Covid-19 outbreak

Import and export activities resumed at Benapole port on Saturday after two months and 15 days, with goods dispatched from India's Petrapole port.

A meeting to resume trade activities was held in this regard at the zero point area near the border, where traders and officials from both countries’ ports were present and agreed on the measure.

Activities at Benapole were suspended on March 22 due to the Covid-19 outbreak, but the decision was made to resume business activities amid the coronavirus crisis as exporters and importers in both countries had been incurring heavy losses.

Sources said the central Indian government in Delhi had sent several letters to the government of West Bengal to resume trade between India and Bangladesh through Petrapole and other ports, but the West Bengal government had declined to do so.

Traders from Benapole also sent letters repeatedly to the state authorities in Kolkata to reconsider the suspension of activities, but in vain.

The recent decision was in light of intense lobbying from the truck owners association and workers association of Petrapole port.

But due to the coronavirus pandemic, the health of drivers will be checked on both sides of the border, while all trucks and the exterior of the goods carried will also be sanitized in both the ports.

Mafizur Rahman Sajan, president of Benapole C&F Agents Association, said port activities had gone down to zero in the past two months and 15 days.

"As part of the agreement, our Indian counterparts agreed to send 50 goods-laden trucks to and from Bangladesh," he added.

Mamun Kabir Tarafder, deputy director (traffic) at Benapole land port, said all sorts of health guidelines would be ensured to keep import and export activities stable, while extra measures will also be taken so that Indian drivers could not steer outside the port area at any point.

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