Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina jointly inaugurated the second Integrated Check Post (ICP) at the Benapole-Petrapole part of India – Bangladesh border through video-conferencing.
Following the Agartala ICP at the Agartala (India)-Akhaura (Bangladesh) land border, Petrapole ICP is the second ICP on the India-Bangladesh border and it is noted that be the biggest land port in South Asia.
- Petrapole is the Indian side of Petrapole-Benapole border checkpoint between India and Bangladesh near Bongaon in Parganas district of West Bengal. Petrapole border is the only land port in south Bengal.
- This check post accounts for more than half of the $4-billion trade with Bangladesh and this is the largest land port of Asia. The landport alone accounts for nearly 60 per cent of the bilateral trade between India and Bangladesh.
- According to a recent study, the goods traffic is approximately 400 trucks per day both ways. The total traffic in 2029-30 has been projected as 2,938 trucks per day and the passenger traffic by then will be 3,924 people per day.
- Benapole is a township in Sharsha Upazila in the Jessore District of Bangladesh. The railway link between Bangladesh and India through Benapole was discontinued when war broke out between Pakistan and India in September 1965.
- The Petrapole Customs station of India is situated across the border and since 1971 (some sources say 1947), a large number of people have travelled between Bangladesh and India through Benapole Customs station.
- Urbanization of Benapole started in the 1990s along the Grand Trunk Road.
- At the end of May the sector was reconstituted and comprised the districts of Kuhstia, Jessore, Khulna, Satkhira and the northern part of Faridpur district. Benapole served as the headquarters of sector 8 in the liberation war.
Petrapole – Benapole pass:-
- Petrapole-Benapole is an important land border crossing for India-Bangladesh trade. More than 50 per cent of the India-Bangladesh trade passes through Petrapole.
- Approximately 15 lakh people and 150,000 trucks cross Petrapole-Benapol and a trade of Trade worth more than Rs. 15000 Crore takes place through the Petrapole ICP and ICPs are sanitized zones with dedicated passenger and cargo terminals and space for regulatory agencies besides necessary modern facilities under one roof.
- The Petrapole ICP will provide better facilities for effective and efficient discharge of functions such as security, immigration, customs, quarantine through the new access means.
- The inauguration ceremony from Dhaka and New Delhi through video-conferencing, while West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee joined from Kolkata along with prime ministers of both the nations.