South Asia

Meghalaya wants to be the new 'hotspot' on the Bangladesh-India border Meghalaya
File Picture A boat ride on the Dawki river in Meghalaya

Meghalaya wants to be the new 'hotspot' on the Bangladesh-India border

Bangladesh Live News | @banglalivenews | 01 Mar 2021, 10:47 am

Dhaka, March 1: Although there is a land border of more than 4,000 km between Bangladesh and India, it can be said that there is almost no commercial and economic activity in most of it. As much as there is, almost all of it is across the West Bengal and Bangladesh border and a little bit across the Assam and Tripura border, but Meghalaya, a small state in northeastern India, is now desperate to feed this 'deficit'. 

The issue was discussed at a meeting between Bangladesh's Ambassador to Delhi Muhammad Imran and Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong in Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, this week. Deputy Chief Minister Tynsong said the state government was keen to see Meghalaya 'strengthen' its international border economically.

First, the Meghalaya government wants to set up many 'Border Haat' (border village market) on the Bangladesh border with their state where people on both sides of the border can trade in a variety of goods in their own currency. In the border areas of Meghalaya and Bangladesh, mainly Garo, Khasi and other tribes live. Both the governments think that such a market will be very popular among them.

Second, Meghalaya has also expressed interest in setting up more land tariff stations along the border. They think that this will encourage international trade by land and increase the volume of trade. The border between Dawki in Meghalaya and Tamabil in Bangladesh already has a land tariff station, and High Commissioner Muhammad Imran visited it during his visit to Meghalaya.

Third, Meghalaya wants more Bangladeshi tourists to visit India through their borders. Dawki Post is already very popular among Bangladeshi tourists, but Meghalaya thinks that this route can attract at least twice as many tourists as it is doing now.

As Banglabandha on the West Bengal border has recently become popular with Bangladeshi tourists (mainly for Sikkim-Darjeeling or Bhutan-bound tourists), Meghalaya has set a goal to elevate Dawki to that level of popularity if the Covid-era restrictions are lifted. Meghalaya also has a number of tourist attractions like Mawsynram, Cherrapunji‎, Shillong and Umngot, the cleanest river in India and Mawlynnong, which is recognized as the 'cleanest village', which can attract tourists from neighboring countries.