May 17, 2021

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Bhomra land port at risk, Indian truck driver-helper roaming freely

Bhomra land port of Satkhira is operating without following any hygiene rules. Although import-export activities are normal, hundreds of truck drivers and helpers from India are not allowed to travel freely due to non-compliance with hygiene norms. The locals are terrified. Traders and workers at the port have blamed the indifference of the port authorities for not complying with the health rules. At present, the Corona situation in India has reached its peak. Therefore, the concerned people have demanded to give importance to the observance of hygiene rules to prevent infection.

According to the investigation, the import-export activities of Bhomra land port are going on in extreme indifference even after the government announced to stop the movement of passengers in the border land ports for 14 days to avoid the risk of corona infection. The activities are being conducted without following any kind of hygiene rules. Although the arrival and departure of passengers through Bhomra port has been stopped, more than three hundred trucks carrying various goods from India are entering Bangladesh every day. None of these trucks from India are being sanitized. Even truck driver helpers are being allowed to enter Bangladesh without any kind of health check. All these truck drivers are leaving their trucks in the port and moving around freely. Eating out at local hotels. And the local workers are unloading the goods from these trucks without following any kind of hygiene. As a result, traders and workers are at risk. However, no department related to the port is willing to take responsibility for this.

Biswajit Sarkar, in-charge of Bhomra Land Port Immigration, told reporters that there is a thermal scanner in the immigration. Through which one can automatically see his body temperature. It is mainly used for passport passengers. But the thermal scanner is not being used now as passport passengers have stopped coming and going.

Monirul Islam, assistant director of the port authority, said Indian trucks carrying goods were kept at designated places in the port. There are many more port related port before coming here. We don’t have to do anything if they allow the truck to come without following the hygiene rules. However, a decision is being taken in the next couple of days through a zoom meeting to ensure that the activities are conducted in accordance with the hygiene rules.
Customs Superintendent Akbar Ali said 341 trucks carrying various goods from India entered Bangladesh on Sunday, April 25. Most of them are returning after unloading the goods of the truck. “It’s not our responsibility to take care of the hygiene,” he said.

He added that C&F of Bangladesh has links with their department. Any goods are actually entered in our office by CNDF or their representatives with the file. Then we make sure they wear masks. Moreover, there is a basin for washing hands outside the office. However, he commented that the Indians could not see the matter as there was no work here.

Arafat Hossain, president of the Bhomra C&F Agents Association, told Bangladesh Pratidin that hand washing is available at the Ghojadanga port on the other side of India. However, it is not always possible for Indian drivers and helpers to wash their hands and wear masks after entering Bangladesh. However, a meeting at the Deputy Commissioner’s office will take a quick decision.

Satkhira Civil Surgeon said. Hussain Safayat said a zoom meeting has been organized by the deputy commissioner on Monday. The matter is to be supervised by the district administration. He said he advised Indian drivers or helpers to be kept at a designated place from now on for health check-ups. And a hotel or place designated for them to eat should be fixed. At the same time, he said, they need to be closely monitored to prevent them from going out.

Satkhira Deputy Commissioner SM Mostafa Kamal told reporters that a zoom meeting was urgently held on Monday with those concerned on the issue. There is an emphasis on strictly controlling the hygiene of truck drivers and helpers from India. He said effective steps would be taken from Tuesday.

BD Daily / Himel

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