Exports to Bangladesh to resume through Bengal's Petrapole land port from Sunday
West Bengal will resume bilateral trade with neighbouring Bangladesh through the Petrapole integrated checkpost in North 24 Parganas district on Sunday after more than a month, a senior official said.
'Starting today, we are allowing bilateral trade to recommence through the Petrapole ICP and all necessary safety protocol will be followed,' he said.
A pool of 100 local truck drivers will only be allowed to go up to 500 metres within the Bangladesh port area, and return after unloading goods, the official said.
'Drivers must wear PPEs and not get down from the vehicles while the unloading process is underway. Empty trucks will have to be sanitised, too,' the official added.
Another official said that trade will be allowed for 12 hours daily.
All Bangladesh-bound vehicles stranded in and around the Petrapole check post, around 80-km from Calcutta, will be cleared by June 14, he said.
The local administration has also asked traders to be ready with another pool of 50 drivers outside the ICP area for any exigency.
'A large number of trucks are stranded near the border due to the lockdown. Exports through Petrapole check post will resume on Sunday. We have agreed to follow the instructions given by the administration,' an official of exporters' body FIEO told PTI.
Bilateral trade through this land port, the largest facility on the Indo-Bangla border, was stopped on May 2 after two days of operation, following protests by locals who were afraid that truck drivers and labourers might spread the coronavirus infection.