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Last updated: 03 May, 2023  

India.Bangladesh.9.Thmb.jpg 'Border Haats' in Tripura along India-B'desh border to reopen after 3 yrs

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IANS | 03 May, 2023
After three years of closure, one of the two 'Border Haats' (markets) in Tripura along India-Bangladesh border will resume trading from May 9, officials said on Wednesday.

A top official of the Tripura Industries and Commerce Department said that after a recent meeting between the district officials of Feni (Bangladesh) and South Tripura, it was decided to resume the business of the Purba Madhugram (Bangladesh)-Srinagar (South Tripura) 'Border Haats' from May 9.

"Efforts were on to restart the Kasba (Bangladesh)-Kamlasagar (Tripura) Border Haat in Sepahijala district," the official told IANS.

The four Border Haats, two each in Tripura and Meghalaya, have remained closed since March 2020 after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and the consequent lockdowns, causing immense loss to the people living in the bordering villages.

Both the Tripura and Meghalaya governments have been pressing the Centre to take up the matter with the Bangladesh government to resume the Border Haats.

The two Border Haats in Meghalaya -- at Balat (East Khasi Hills district) and Kalaichar (South West Garo Hills district) -- were reopened last year and both are functional once a week now.

Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Anupriya Patel, recently in a letter to former Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, currently a Rajya Sabha member, said that the Central government has raised the issue of reopening the two 'Border Haats' in Tripura to promote local business and livelihood of the people living on either side of the frontiers with its Bangladesh counterpart.

"We are continuously raising the matter of the reopening of Border Haats at Kamalasagar and Srinagar in the bilateral meetings with Bangladesh. We are hopeful of an early resolution of this matter," Patel had said in her letter to Deb.

Officials of the Tripura Industries and Commerce Department said that the officials in Sepahijala and South Tripura district administrations had on a number of occasions approached their Bangladesh counterparts to reopen the Border Haats as the Covid-19 induced situation has almost been tamed now.

Jaipur-based think-tank CUTS International, which has done several studies on border trade, had also recommended to the Indian government to resume these border markets the necessary precautions against Covid-19, as these markets boost the economy, cement ties between the people of the two countries and also check illegal trade.

These markets, spread in around 5,625 sq. metre area of the two countries' territories or "no-man's land", operate once a week on a fixed day.

In the weekly market, on an average, at least 25 vendors, including women from both sides of the border, sell their products.

According to the officials, 10 more "Border Haats" were approved along the India-Bangladesh border at Tripura and Meghalaya. Out of them, six are in Meghalaya, and four in Tripura.

Both Indian and Bangladeshi governments are keen to reopen more "Border Haats" in the four northeastern states -- Tripura, Meghalaya, Assam and Mizoram, which share 1,880-km border with Bangladesh.

(Sujit Chakraborty can be contacted at
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