Shillong, May 4: Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai inaugurated the Land Port Dawki in presence of Deputy Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Sniawbhalang Dhar.
The Land Port will certainly strengthen the relations of India and the neighboring Bangladesh, said Rai while addressing the inaugural programme at Dawki. Claiming that the cultural heritage of the two countries as a similar one, the Minister said that both the countries share a similar past and with India’s cooperation, Bangladesh is on the path of progress.
“Our honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi has left no stone unturned to accelerate development in the Northeastern region. Even for Meghalaya, be it its culture, health, lifestyle, etc. the Government of India has taken care of each and every aspect. It has been working towards making Meghalaya as a strong State,” said the Minister reiterating that the region is a priority of the government.
The Land Port is expected to boost the tourism and business sectors of Meghalaya as well as the country. “It has been made keeping in mind the two countries’ requirements. It has a good infrastructure, a slew of facilities such as godown, canteen, cargo for tourists and electric substation, among others are also available here. The aim is to bring together all the agencies and stakeholders under a single roof,” added the Minister.
Rai highlighted the sense of brotherhood that India and Bangladesh share. “With time the ties have only gotten stronger. Dawki is well connected now. This network will help in advancing the health and education sectors as well in the gatishakti mode,” opined the Minister.
Beholding the beauty of Meghalaya, especially Dawki, the Minister said, “I have been admiring the charm of Dawki since the moment I reached here yesterday. The scenery, the hills, the trees and everything I turn to, I only see beauty in it. So beautiful! I salute you.”
The Dawki Land Port is an important project of the Government of India, aimed at promoting trade and commerce between India and Bangladesh. It is located in the West Jantia Hills in Meghalaya, 55 kms from the district headquarters, Jowai, and about 84 kms from Shillong. The corresponding Land Port in Bangladesh is Tamabil, located in the Sylhet district.
Land Port Dawki serves as a vital trade and transportation hub between India and Bangladesh, facilitating the movement of goods, people, and vehicles across the border. It also facilitates passenger movement across the border.
Development of Land Port Dawki was approved by High Level Empowered Committee (HLEC) of MHA on February 4, 2016. The Land Port is spread over a total area of 23.0 acres. The total cost (land cost & development cost) of the Land Port is Rs.83.38 crore. The total cost includes Rs.9 crore (approx.) as land cost and Rs.74.38 crore as development cost.
To meet the projected cargo and traffic requisite infrastructure facilities have been planned at the Port. These include, inter-alia Passenger Terminal Building, Cargo Terminal Building, Warehouse, Toilet Blocks for Export Drivers, Canteen with Washrooms, Entrance/Exit Gate for Passengers and Cargo Vehicles, Electric Sub-station, Rummaging Shed, Pump House, Sewage Treatment Plan and Underground Water Tank.
The inaugural function was also attended by the High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh, Pranay Kumar Verma, Chairman Land Port Authority Bangladesh Mohd Alamgir, Chairman LPAI, Aditya Mishra and other senior officials of Government of Meghalaya.
During two days visit, the Minister of State also visited Meghalaya Frontier BSF and interacted with field commanders and troops on ground. Pradip Kumar, IG of BSF Meghalaya briefed the Minister about the area of responsibility of Frontier, discussed the various challenges on the Indo- Bangladesh international border and measures being taken to control trans-border crimes. The Minister applauded the efforts, intrepid bravery and dedication of BSF personnel in safeguarding the borders.