With around 400 Indian transport workers entering through the port every day, locals fear a potential transmission of the highly infectious Indian variants of the coronavirus
The local administration finds it counterintuitive to keep the Hili land port open for trade after Bangladesh government closed the border with India to contain the spread of Covid-19.
With around 400 Indian transport workers, including truck drivers and their assistants, entering through the port in Dinajpur every day, locals fear a potential transmission of the highly infectious Indian variants of the coronavirus.
According to Hili land port sources, around 180-200 goods-laden trucks enter Bangladesh from India through Hili land port every day.
These trucks are accompanied by a driver and an assistant. They stay in the port area for a few days till the goods are unloaded. For work purposes, these transport workers are interacting with Bangladeshi workers and port employees.
Hakimpur Upazila Health and Family Planning Officer Dr Touhid Al Hasan said Indian transport workers are not safe for Bangladesh at the moment as the situation in India is dire.
Meanwhile, Hakimpur Municipality Mayor Jamil Hossain Chalanta proposed that the import and export through Hili land port be temporarily halted, considering the health risks to local residents and people across the country.
Hakimpur municipal mayor made the proposal to the Dinajpur Deputy Commissioner Khaled Mohammad Zakir while attending a virtual district coordination meeting on Sunday noon.
Dinajpur Deputy Commissioner Khaled Mohammad Zaki accepted the Hakimpur municipal mayor's proposal and told reporters that the issue of import-export was a matter for the ministry.
He hoped that the ministry concerned would take a decision soon considering the situation in India.
Hakimpur Upazila Nirbahi Officer Mohammad Noor-e-Alam said, “We will implement any government directive after the proposal goes to the ministry concerned.”