Padma Bridge: Along with India-Bangladesh trade, tourism has also increased

Last Updated on July 3, 2024 8:17 am

Two years of the dream Padma bridge. The image of the entire southern region has changed due to this bridge as if by a magic wand. Improved communication systems; Increased revenue and trade. Benapole port is not excluded from this. Despite the ongoing global recession, the bridge has increased trade and passenger traffic with India through this port, saving time and money. If the global recession ends, this benefit will increase even more, according to trade and port officials.

It is known that the Padma Bridge is one of the developmental activities in the country during the current government. Bangabandhu’s daughter Sheikh Hasina inaugurated this bridge on June 25, 2022 after overcoming various obstacles. Through this, 21 districts of south and south-western parts of the country are connected with Dhaka. Of these, Jessore district is the most benefited. Benapole in Jessore has the largest land port in the country. And more than two million passengers travel through this port every year for business, travel, higher education and medical purposes. Where earlier it used to take 12 hours or even many days for cargo trucks or passenger buses from Dhaka to reach the port, now it takes 4 hours to reach the port. It has changed the picture of its trade and travel.

According to port statistics, 18 lakh 98 thousand 400 metric tons of goods were imported from India in 11 months of 2022-23 fiscal year. In the 11 months of the financial year 2023-24, the import of goods from India was 19 lakh 8 thousand 956 metric tons; Import increased by 10 thousand 556 metric tons. 19 lakh 85 thousand 407 people used Benapole port in 11 months of 2022-23 fiscal year; And in 11 months of 2023-24 financial year, there were 19 lakh 98 thousand 447 people. In this case, the number of passengers has increased to 13 thousand 40 people. Before the Padma Bridge, the number of passengers on this route was 1.5 million passport holders and the import trade was 1.8 million metric tons.

Ziaur Rahman, Secretary of Benapole Landport Imports and Exports Association, said, “Earlier, it used to take 10 hours to a whole day for the cargo truck to reach Benapole port from Dhaka. Now goods reach the port in 4 hours through Padma Bridge. The Padma Bridge has a big role in expanding trade between the two countries.

Zamir Biswas, a passport holder for India, said, “Because of the bridge, I can reach the port before 4 am.” Which used to take twice as long. However, the increase in manpower at Petrapol immigration and the opening of Benapole port at 5 am will increase the number of passengers on this route.

Abul Hossain, senior vice president of Benapole Landport Imports and Exports Association, said that trade between India and Bangladesh has been accelerated due to the Padma Bridge; Revenue is also increasing.

C&F Agents Association Customs Affairs Secretary Abdul Latif said importers are interested in using Benapole Port for the benefit of Padma Bridge. Everyone benefits as the product reaches its destination faster.

Benapole C&F Agent Association leader Aminul Haque Anu said, “Padma Bridge is a blessing for the people of South Bengal. If the Banga-Jesore-Benapole highway is upgraded to 6 lanes, the trade and revenue income will double on this road. At present, the government is earning revenue of Tk 100 crore from Benapole port in the tourism sector and Tk 5000 crore from import trade.

Benapole Land Port Director Rezaul Karim said, Padma Bridge is a blessing in expanding India-Bangladesh trade. In the meantime, businessmen and passport holders traveling on this route are getting the benefit in two years. They have initiated various developmental activities in the meantime to increase the facilities at the port. The work of conversion to modern port is in final stage. Their infrastructure development work is also going on in the Indian part.

According to Bangladesh Bridge Authority sources, 1 crore 27 lakh 13 thousand 275 vehicles have crossed the bridge in two years. 1 thousand 648 crore 76 lakh 18 thousand 300 taka has been collected from it. At this time, an average of 19 thousand 168 vehicles traveled every day. Average daily toll collection is 2 crore 32 lakh 14 thousand 222 taka. In the first year, 801 crore 44 lakh 27 thousand 200 taka was collected from 57 lakh 17 thousand 46 vehicles crossing. And in the second year the income increased even more. 847 crores 31 lakhs 91 thousand 100 taka were collected from 69 lakhs 96 thousand 229 vehicles crossing.

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