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Landport at Bangla transit point

Bongaon (North 24-Parganas), Aug. 3: Petrapole here will become the first landport in the state. The entry point to Bangladesh will be the first among four centres to be promoted as a crossborder trading hub.

Hili in South Dinajpur, Mahadipur in Malda and Phulbari in Jalpaiguri will also be developed as landports.

“A centre where there is largescale trading by land is a landport. Trade through Petrapole is increasing everyday and as part of a central scheme, it will be developed into a bigger centre handling export and import,” said an official of the industries department.

The decision to develop Petrapole is significant in the wake of the state’s new export policy. The landports are expected to give a boost to the export earnings. Officials said there would be a spurt in trade between India and Bangladesh and the south-east Asian countries once the centres are operational.

A delegation comprising deputy high commissioner of Bangladesh Tauhid Hossain, industries secretary Sabyasachi Sen, his central counterpart and customs and police officials will inspect Petrapole tomorrow.

The Centre has already sanctioned Rs 2 crore for the project to be completed at an estimated cost of Rs 10 crore. Petrapole in future will offer modern communication facilities and a snazzy guesthouse, among other things.

About 1,500 trucks cross the border daily to Bangladesh and an equal number roll into India through the checkpost.

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