In a major boost to modernisation of border infrastructure and to further strengthen India’s connectivity with Bangladesh, a new Passenger Terminal Building (I) was inaugurated at ICP Petrapole on Friday.
The inauguration was held jointly by officials from the government of India and government of Bangladesh.
From the Indian side, the inauguration was done by Nityanand Rai, Minister of State for Home Affairs, and Nisith Pramanik, Minister of State for Home Affairs.
Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury, Minister of State for Shipping, was the Chief Guest from the Bangladesh side.
The inauguration took place in the presence of Vikram Doraiswami, High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh.
Aditya Mishra, Chairman, Land Ports Authority of India and Md. Alamgir, Additional Secretary and Chairman, Bangladesh Land Port Authority were also present on the occasion.
ICP Petrapole, the largest land port in South Asia, is the most important port for passengers coming from Bangladesh.
It is also the ninth largest international immigration port of India, handling about 23 lakh passengers annually.
Built by the Land Ports Authority of India, the new PTB (I) is spread across an area of 1,305 Sqm and is designed to handle around 550 passengers at any point of time.
The new PTB (I) will facilitate smooth and comfortable movement of passengers and is equipped with facilities such as Immigration, Customs and Security under one roof.
The Terminal Building is also equipped with 32 immigration counters, 4 customs counters, 8 security counters and has adequate office spaces for allied stakeholders.
As India-Bangladesh celebrate fifty momentous years of diplomatic partnership, all the esteemed dignitaries reaffirmed the importance of strengthening the bilateral relationship and putting in place requisite modern infrastructure facilitating greater people-to-people connectivity.
LPAI is also in the process of constructing a new state-of-the-art Passenger Terminal Building (II) at ICP Petrapole which is planned to cater to half a million handling capacity. The construction work commenced in February 2020 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.
During the inaugural ceremony, the Chief Guests also laid the foundation stone of a common second cargo gate along the India-Bangladesh border.
By setting an example of strong Border Agency Coordination between LPAI and BLPA, this move is expected to speed up the release/clearance of goods at the border crossing through a better institutional arrangement and further enhance bilateral trade and connectivity between the two countries, the Indian High Commission in Dhaka said.