I looked around at Sylhet’s border haat
Faiza Rafaপ্রকাশিত হয়েছে : ২৬ আগস্ট ২০২৩, ২:০০ পূর্বাহ্ণ
Tourism District Sylhet. Due to the breathtaking beauty of mountains, waterfalls, tea gardens, this district attracts many tourists every day. A border hut has been opened in Bholaganj Sada Pathar area in Sylhet for a few days now. The matter seemed very unusual to me, so I hurriedly went to visit the border haats.
In the beginning of August, Shravan faces heavy skies. On such a cloudy day, I left for Bholaganj border of Companyganj upazila of Sylhet, which is just opposite to Khasia Hills of Meghalaya state of India. The first border haat of Sylhet district has been opened here. There is a huge crowd of people in the morning in the market, which is built on an area equal to 1 acre of the two countries, near the 1248/12 S and 11 S pillars of the India-Bangladesh border.
All around the noise of buyers and sellers. It was seen that various locally produced products of the two countries, betel nuts, vegetables, different types of spices, shoes, cosmetics are being sold in the market.
Talk to buyers and sellers and local residents. Everyone said with enthusiasm that the people of the remote areas are getting a lot of benefits due to the opening of the border haat. Due to the increase in trade and commerce, many people have been employed. Besides, cordial relations have also been established between those of us who are in the border areas of the two countries.
Everyone is very happy with the launch of Border Haat. This haat runs every week on Saturdays and Wednesdays from 10 am to 4 pm. As a result, the residents of the 5 km area of the hut are getting the opportunity to buy and sell products. There are 50 shops including 26 in Bangladesh and 24 in India. In the market, a buyer can buy products for a maximum of 200 dollars equivalent Bangladeshi taka in one day. A buyer pays Tk 30 per day and a seller pays Tk 70 per day for entry fee.That money is being spent on the renovation and development of this hut with the approval of the Border Haat Management Committee. But here it is mandatory to take card for buying and selling. And for that card, the Chairman of the Border Hut Management Committee and the Additional District Magistrate of Sylhet have to apply. Among them, visitor cards have been arranged for brave freedom fighters, political leaders and journalists.
Expatriate Welfare and Foreign Employment Minister Imran Ahmed inaugurated the activities of this market on May 6 this year. India’s Assistant High Commissioner Niraj Kumar Jaiswal joined as a special guest at that time. Earlier, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated this border hut in 2021. On April 8, 2017, it was decided to set up a border market to increase trade and maintain cordial relations between the two countries. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Bangladesh and India on border-related issues that day. In February 2018, it was decided to open a haat on the border of Bholaganj, Companyganj, Sylhet and East Khasi Pahar, Meghalaya.
When I went inside the border hut, I saw that the law and order forces were also on alert so that no one could commit any misdeeds.
But one of the interesting aspects is that those whose relatives are in India can easily meet at the border hut. They do not require any kind of visa. This market is also expanding the field of tourism. Businessmen of the two countries are benefiting the most through duty-free import and export. Smuggling has come under control. I know there will be some more border huts in Sylhet. Out of which one is under process in Sunamganj.
When I went inside the border hut, I saw that the law and order forces were also on alert so that no one could commit any misdeeds. But one of the interesting aspects is that those whose relatives are in India can easily meet at the border hut. They do not require any kind of visa. This market is also expanding the field of tourism. Businessmen of the two countries are benefiting the most through duty-free import and export. Smuggling has come under control. I know there will be some more border huts in Sylhet. Out of which one is under process in Sunamganj.
There are currently 13 border huts operating at different borders of Bangladesh-India. 3 more border huts are awaiting commissioning. It is clear that more such haats will reduce penetration in both countries. Many problems will be solved if the products of the two countries are exchanged through the market.
Cloudy weather so daylight was fading fast after noon. Around three o’clock, I left this first border hut in Sylhet district towards the city.
The greenery of the border area, the friendly behavior of the local residents and the new experience of the haats were also calming.