Agriculture minister Matia Chowdhury and Indian finance minister Pranab Mukharjiee inaugurated the port by waving signal flags and cutting ribbon at no men’s land on Saturday. The Banglabandha port and Phulbari port on the Indian side were decorated with colourful flags, drawing huge crowds. On the first day, two truckloads of Indian rocks came in while two of waste cotton were sent across, Alauddin, a customs officer in Dinajpur, told bdnews24.com.
After the inaugural programme, the two ministers spoke in a joint press conference at Phulbari. West Bengal’s urban development minister Ashok Bhattacharya, Indian high commissioner Rajeet Mitter, Panchagarh-1 MP Majharul Haque Pradhan, Panchagarh chamber of commerce president Iqbal Kaiser also spoke at the press conference. The ministers said the port was full of potentials and promised to initiate full-fledged trade and immigration through the land port soon.
Later, addressing an Awami League rally at Panchagarh, Matia promised to make the port fully functional within three months. General secretary of Federation of Exporters’ Association of Bengal Tapan Das told bdnews24.com trade through the land port was a longstanding demand of businessmen of the both countries. “And both the governments have to be sincere in making it [port] successful.” Panchagarh chamber president Iqbal Kaiser said quick introduction of immigration through it and entry rights for more products would turn Banglabandha into a promising land port.