by our special correspondent:

The integrated check post ( ICP) at Petrapole is classic example how public money is being looted by the corrupt government officials and system . With customs officials running to find out quarantine centre for the inbound and outbound  people to and from Bangladesh the much hyped land port facility has absolutely nothing to offer.

According to Pradip Dey , an exporter, even though government , both central and state said that exim trade with Bangladesh will continue the ground reality is the entire thing has stopped since morning of March 23. on April 18 nearly 2200 trucks carrying goods and at least 4400 people as driver and helper from all over India has came and got stranded tat Petrapole in Bongaon of North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal.

As they could not deliver their goods to Bangladesh they remained stranded . Since the area has no facility to accommodate these huge number of people increasing the chance of spread of the corona in this border town . Much of the goods carried by them is perishing adding capital loss to the exporter or manufacturer.  
Now the  newly opened ICP should have facility for quarantine and testing to tacke such tough time. But on ground they have neither. The largest land port of India is in such a pity state that it don’t have the basic infrastructure to handle such menace from other country.As a result the 8 truck drivers who went to offload their goods on March 23 when returned on April 18 after remaining stranded on Bangladesh side they were taken to a makeshift quarantine centre outside the ICP .

They were accommodated in a motel by west Bengal government.Exporters, manufacturers, money changers, transporters, labours and logistic providers are important stakeholders in Petrapole exim trade. The major portion of the subdivision’s economy  revolves around  Petrapole land border. The exim trade and immigration are two lifelines of these thousands of families. In absence of proper management with Bangladesh side all are going to be jeopardised.

Exporters said that condition has come to such a pass that trade in taking though other unplanned land ports like Mehedipur, Ghojadanga, Malda but  Petrapole ICP standing out as an exception in non functionality on return of investment. An exporter said ‘ Through ICP around 300 vehicles pass each day. Where as in other in planned ports nearly 450 vehicles are passing. Then what is the use of making such an integrated complex that wasted lot of  public money ?” 

In this scenario question naturally rises how long it will take ICP to to grow up as a modern port complex with all security measures and gadgets in place. And as usual,  nobody including the port authorities have the answer.   


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