In a big step to boost India-Bangladesh ties, PM Narendra Modi and Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina today inaugurated the Petrapole Integrated Check Post. The inauguration was done via video-conferencing and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee also joined the same from Kolkata. Petrapole-Benapole is a land border crossing, and the inauguration of the Integrated Check Post (ICP) is a crucial step to boost India-Bangladesh trade. According to the government, more than 50% of the India-Bangladesh trade passes through Petrapole. “Trade worth more than Rs 15,000 crore takes place through the Petrapole ICP, which is more than all the other Indian land ports and land customs stations put together,” the government claims. It is estimated that around 15 lakh people and 150,000 trucks cross this land border every year.
The aim of the Petrapole ICP is to provide better facilities on the security, customs, immigration front. The ICP will also support facilities for smooth cross-border movement of persons, goods and transport. This is the second ICP on the India-Bangladesh border. The first is Agartala ICP at the Agartala (India)-Akhaura (Bangladesh) land border. The government says that this will be the biggest land port in South Asia.
At the inauguration, PM Narendra Modi said, “Economic development and connectivity are very closely linked to each other. Petrapole ICP will serve to foster more economic integration & connectivity between India & Bangladesh.” PM Modi also expressed his deepest condolences on the recent attack in Dhaka and expressed solidarity with the country stating that India stands with Bangladesh on tackling the terrorism threat.