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ICP to boost Indo-Bangla trade flounders

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Shillong, Dec 21: The International Check Post (ICP) at Dawki in Khasi Hills which was aimed at boosting trade and commerce between India and Bangladesh- through the Khasi Hills sector of the state, appears to have stalled for varied reasons.

The foundation for the ICP was laid as way back as 2017 and was to be made operational sometime in August 2018.

Sadly, only a few iron pillars have so far been erected at the construction site, as witnessed during a visit to Dawki, this week.

While much of the work is believed to have been stalled in view of the pandemic, The headman of Bakur village in Dawki, Daniel Khongit, says a company from Arunachal Pradesh was supposed to complete the work under the government allotted timeline of two years.

He recalled the then Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju and Shillong MP Vincent Pala actively participating in the program of the foundation stone laying ceremony of the ICP project.

 “The government has floated a re-tender and a company from Assam will start the construction work. The manager of the Land port from India and the contractors came to meet me so that they can start the work in the days to come”, clarified Khongit.

 “Bangladesh has already started its project, what remains is the project from the Indian side. We want the project to be completed as soon as possible by the company and contractors so that the people will be benefited”, he said.

Concerns were also raised that a diversion road will have to be in place to ease the people commuting to Muktapur and its adjoining villages.

It was also seen that there is no fencing and a red flag separates the two countries. To this, Khongsit said that not having any fencing has been a cause of worry as outsiders would cross over to India.

Echoing his sentiments, the Jaintia Students’ Union (JSU) member Kerry Pohtam said that the group does not oppose fencing but resolving the international boundary should be a priority.

“The union government should resolve the boundary issue and cannot talk about fencing without solving the international boundary. Why did India give away our land for free without Bangladeshis asking for it?” he said.

 

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