Himalayan News Service

Kolkata, January 5:

Trade between India and Bangladesh through the Petrapole-Benapole border has come to a halt following a truckers’ strike from January 1.

The Indian transporters are protesting a parking fee hike at the Benapole truck terminal in Bangladesh. “Thousands of trucks, loaded with essential commodities, are clogging the roads on either side of the border,” said Samir Ghosh Chowdhury, a spokesman of the Border Transport Owners Association based in Bongaon off Petrapole. Trucks from Bangladesh are not being allowed to enter India either. The Kolkata-Dhaka bus service has also been affected by the strike. The worst affected are hundreds of people who travel between the two countries through the Petrapole-Benapole border. They are crossing the border on foot. But Chowdhury said, “We will not call off our strike until our demand is conceded.”

The Indian truckers called an indefinite strike from January 1 when the parking fee at the Benapole terminal in Bangladesh was raised from Rs 3 Indian Currency (IC) to Rs 16 IC, he said. Petrapole-Benapole is one of the important land ports for trade and travel between India and Bangladesh. Every day thousands of Indian trucks roll into the neighbouring country to meet its growing demand for good grains and engineering items.