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Traders and tourism stakeholders on familiarisation trip to Bhutan

Indian delegation was briefed on new changes in entry and exit rules of individuals into the country through land borders

Our Bureau Siliguri/Alipurduar Published 21.09.22, 01:45 AM
The Indian delegation at Phuentsholing on Tuesday.

The Indian delegation at Phuentsholing on Tuesday. The Telegraph

Tra­ders and tourism stakeholders at Jaigaon — the town in Ali­purduar district — on Tuesd­ay entered Phuentsholing, wh­ich is located just across the border in Bhutan, after a gap of two-and-a-half years for a familiarisation trip.

The trip was organised by the Bhutanese government a day after the Prime Minister, Lotay Tshering, had visited the border town to oversee arrangements before the Himalayan kingdom reopens its four land borders which connect India on Friday.


The Indian delegation, wh­i­ch also comprised elected representatives, political leaders and government officials, was briefed on the new cha­nges in the entry and exit rules of individuals — both Bhu­tanese and foreign nationals — into Bh­u­tan through the land borders.

On September 23, the mo­vement of people will resume through the land borders after a gap of 30 months.

The delegation, along with representatives of Bhutan India Friendship Association, visited the newly built pedestrian terminal — an integrated facility for the entry and exit of people.

The delegation also held a meeting with the Bhutanese authorities for an hour.

“The trip was very effective. We could get our doubts cleared as the Bhutan government has come up with certain changes in the entry and exit rules. We are eagerly waiting for Friday when the gates will reopen,” said Ramashankar Gu­­pta, secretary, Jaigaon Mer­chant Association.

In the past few days, members of the business community at Jaigaon, who move into Phuentsholing multiple times a day for various reasons, we­re perturbed as Bhutan introduced a pre-registration system for anybody entering Bh­utan. “We were concerned ab­out how many times we have to register because we move through the border frequently. Today, the Bhutanese authorities told us that one needs to register only once. This is a relief for us,” said Gupta.

Sources said once a person registered himself online, a QR code would be generated. While entering or exiting Bhutan through the land borders, the Bhutanese authorities will scan the code.

“It is a simple process to monitor movements of individuals entering or exiting the country,” said a Jaigaon resident.

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