Shillong, May 1: The Indo-Bangladesh border haat located in the Balat area of East Khasi Hills seems to have not lived fully up to its objective of catering to the border population that reside within the 5 km of the border.
The memorandum of understanding between India and Bangladesh in 2010 says that such border haats aim at “promoting the well-being of people in remote areas across the borders” through a traditional system to market local produce. People who living within five kilometres of the border haat are given licences as vendors and buyers.
However, much of the goods that the Indian locals trade with the Bangladesh population are products from the hinterland. A section of the local population who interacted with this correspondent admitted that goods produced beyond the five Kms areas reach the border haat every Tuesday.
They cited that there are not much of local produce within the periphery and a reason that other products had to brought from the hinterland for trade with the Bangladesh counterparts.
Officials supervising the weekly market, right from the customs to the BSF did not deny the fact, but maintained that it is more driven out of circumstance. The locals endorsed the view. Going by the statements there are more goods that flows towards India than the goods going to Bangladesh. There are two functional border haats In Meghalya – one in Kailachar and the other one in Balat, about 100 Kms from here.