Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina on Thursday jointly inaugurated the Petrapole Integrated Check Post through video-conferencing, in which West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also participated from Kolkata.
Petrapole ICP is the second ICP on the India-Bangladesh border after the Agartala ICP at the Agartala (India)-Akhaura (Bangladesh) land border. It will also be the biggest land port in South Asia.
Inaugurating the Check Post, the Prime Minister said, “Inauguration of the Petrapole Integrated Check Post marks another special moment in India-Bangladesh ties. The Petrapole ICP will enable greater economic integration and significantly improve the connectivity between India and Bangladesh.”
He said economic development and connectivity are very closely linked to each other.
“I thank Mamataji for joining the programme today and appreciate her role in improving India-Bangladesh ties,” said Prime Minister Modi.
More than 50 percent of the India-Bangladesh trade passes through Petrapole. Trade worth more than Rs. 15,000 crores takes place through the Petrapole ICP, which is more than all the other Indian Land Ports and Land Customs Stations put together. Approximately 15 lakh people and 150,000 trucks cross Petrapole-Benapole every year.
The Petrapole ICP will provide better facilities for effective and efficient discharge of functions such as security, immigration, customs, quarantine, etc, while also providing support facilities for smooth cross-border movement of persons, goods and transport.
It is expected that the capacity will double with the commissioning of the Petrapole ICP and the local business community will benefit immensely from reduced transaction time and costs.
The commissioning of the Petrapole ICP will also serve to foster greater economic integration and connectivity between India and Bangladesh.