Agartala: India and Bangladesh would reinforce border vigil to curb rising illegal trade, smuggling of drugs and human trafficking, officials said after a day-long meeting between the district authorities of Tripura and Bangladesh, here on Wednesday.
They also decided to step up the cross-border trade and set up more “haats” (markets) along the border to boost the local economy on both sides, said West Tripura District Magistrate and Collector Sandeep Mahatme.
The officials of the two countries would jointly visit bordering areas of the West Tripura and Sepahijala districts on February 26 to identify sites for three more “border haats”.
Two “border haats” are functional in Tripura since 2015. Local produces from across the border are traded there.
District Magistrate and Collectors, Superintendents of Police of the West Tripura, Khowai and Sepahijala districts, Deputy Commissioners and district police chiefs of Bangladesh’s Comilla, Hobiganj, Moulvibazar, Brahmanbaria districts attened the meeting.
Customs officials from the two country, and senior officials of the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Border Guards Bangladesh also attended the meeting.
Mahatme, who led the Indian delegation at the meeting, said smuggling of drugs, mainly Yaba, had increased. They were coming from Myanmar, he added.
The Yaba tablets, a mixture of methamphetamine and caffeine, are used in high dosages for “kick” by youth in India, Bangladesh and other neighbouring countries. The remaining (67 km) work of border fencing would be undertaken, and construction of the Agartala-Akhaura rail project, which would connect Tripura with the railway network of Bangladesh, would be completed in September 2021, he said.
Comilla Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Abul Fazal Mir, who led the Bangla delegation, said both India and Bangladesh governments were keen to increase trade, check the illegal trade, smuggling and other border crimes.
The officials would meet again at Udaipur, Gomati district headquarters, on Thursday. (IANS)