For better and more efficient trade
There is no reason for these land ports to be as neglected as they are
Bangladesh and India, despite their friendship, still have plenty of scope to increase their existing trade relationships. The borders of these two countries intersect at many points, and having active land ports would save money and time, incentivizing traders to contribute more to the national economy.
As such, the fact that the Darshana and Daulatganj land ports remain neglected for years, despite having huge prospects, is nothing but a shame.
According to the Bangladesh Land Port Authority, Darshana and Daulatganj land customs stations were declared land ports on January 12, 2002 and July 31, 2013 respectively, but these two land ports are still not operational several years later due to reluctance on the part of the authorities concerned.
This is extremely unfortunate; were these ports operational, it would have a profound positive impact on the country. The distance from Dhaka to Kolkata will be reduced by around 70 kilometres. The journey time from the capital of Dhaka would also be decreased by two-three hours compared to the Benapole Land Port. In terms of capacity, these land ports will make it possible to unload at least 200 trucks of goods daily as well. Thus, with reduced distance and time, naturally, it will be easier, faster, and ultimately cheaper to conduct trade.
As such, there is no reason for these land ports to be as neglected as they are. This is part of a greater trend -- among the 24 land ports across the country, only 12 are operational -- of keeping projects and installations unfinished in general. While issues like this could have been written off as minor causes in the past, with Bangladesh’s huge economic ambitions, this is something that cannot be ignored any longer.
The authorities need to step up, and work on making these land ports operational. About 90% of Bangladesh's total international trade by land is conducted through the Benapole port, which causes bottlenecks and immense financial losses for the nation. Having more ports would remove this issue -- both for now and the future.