ICP at Sabroom to mark a transformative milestone in India-Bangladesh relations

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In a momentous development in the bilateral relations between India and Bangladesh, a state-of-the-art Integrated Checkpost (ICP) is soon to be inaugurated at Sabroom in Tripura on the Indian side, and in Ramgarh Upazila in Bandarban on the Bangladesh side. The ceremony is expected to witness the virtual presence of both Prime Ministers – Sheikh Hasina representing Bangladesh and Narendra Modi representing India – symbolizing the significance of this collaborative effort in enhancing cross-border connectivity and trade.

An Integrated Checkpost serves as a modern terminal and logistics hub located at international borders, aimed at facilitating the seamless movement of goods and passengers between two countries. It consolidates various systems, including customs, immigration, container transshipment, and warehousing, under one roof, thereby streamlining trade and travel processes.

The launch of this ICP signifies the commencement of another modern land port between India and Bangladesh, underscoring the commitment of both nations to bolster bilateral trade and connectivity. Currently, the largest ICP between the two countries is located at the Petrapole-Benapole border. However, experts anticipate that the volume of trade and passenger traffic on the Sabroom-Ramgarh route may surpass the former in days to come.

Several factors contribute to this anticipation. To start with, Sabroom’s strategic location, less than 80km from Chittagong by road (the commercial capital of Bangladesh), positions it as a crucial gateway for goods movement in the Northeast region of India. Secondly, India’s access to the Chittagong port further enhances Sabroom’s potential as a trade hub. Additionally, its proximity to the Matarbari deep-sea port, currently under construction in Bangladesh, promises a significant increase in traffic through Sabroom, once operational.

Sabroom ICP Master Plan

The completion of the 1.9km long friendly bridge between the two countries – Maitri Setu – further enhances connectivity between India and Bangladesh. The Maitri Setu was constructed over the Feni River and was jointly inaugurated by Narendra Modi and Sheikh Hasina in 2021. Railway connectivity to Sabroom has also been established, with a broad-gauge rail link connecting it to the rest of India.

Aditya Mishra, Chairman of the Land Ports Authority of India (LPAI), along with other top officials, visited Sabroom last month to ensure all necessary preparations for the inauguration were in place. Following the visit, rapid progress was made in completing the remaining construction of the ICP and associated road infrastructure.

A meeting between delegations from India and Bangladesh held on January 22 finalized plans for the inauguration of the ICP, emphasizing the collaborative efforts between the two nations in strengthening cross-border ties.

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