Dawki: Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday laid the foundation stone for a Rs 92.34 crore integrated check-post (ICP) at the India-Bangladesh international border here in Meghalaya to boost bilateral ties.
“The ICP will generate employment opportunities and provide a major fillip to the economy of the state and the region. The ICP will strengthen the already good relations between India-Bangladesh,” he said.
Dawki is about 85 km from Shillong, the state capital of Meghalaya, which is the largest trade route with Bangladesh.
The ICP is being built on an area spread over 22 acres, which includes a two-floor cargo terminal building of 2,456 square metres, two-floor passenger terminal building 4,625 sq metres, warehouse 1,420 sq m and parking 60,000 sq metres.
Rijiju said the ICP would create new avenues of job and trade for the people residing in the region besides enhancing the beauty of the already picturesque landscape of the Dawki region, which will also attract tourists from across the borders.
Stating that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is committed to transform northeast into a developed region, he said, “the erstwhile ‘Look East Policy’ has now become ‘Act East Policy’ and this has been evident from the numerous development projects that have been adopted by the Narendra Modi Government for the Northeast region.”
“The efforts of the government have also resulted in improved ties with the neighbouring countries. We are grateful towards the Bangladesh government for aiding India in the implementation of the development projects in the region,” he added.
Moreover, the Union Minister also stressed on the need for opening up of the borders for trade and commerce in order to bring in prosperity and economic development to the region.
“Although the North-Eastern region is geographically isolated from the rest of India, it shares more than 95 per cent of its borders with other neighbouring countries. We should leverage this position to our advantage by maintaining a cordial relationship with our neighbours and fostering bilateral economic ties with them by opening up of more border trade with Bangladesh, Myanmar, Bhutan and even for that matter with China”, he added.
Land ports authority of India is the nodal agency, while RITES Limited is the project management consultant. Work for constructing the checkpost has been awarded to M/s T.K. Engineering Consortium Private Limited. The project is targeted to be completed by August 2018.
The ICP will have passenger terminal which will have lounge, prayer room, child care room, retail areas, medical facility and foreign exchange bureau besides other things. The cargo terminal will have bank and ATM, computerised cargo clearance, quarantine and weigh bridges. The ICP will also have warehouse and parking facility.