Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation Shri Amit Shah inaugurated and laid foundation stone of various development projects of Land Ports Authority of India (LPAI) and Border Security Force (BSF) in West Bengal, today. Shri Amit Shah also inaugurated Maitridwar at ICP Petrapole, BSF’s newly constructed Border Outposts (BOPs) and other buildings, virtually.
Several dignitaries including Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Nishith Pramanik, Union Minister for Ports, Shri Shantanu Thakur, Chairman of Land Ports Authority of India and Director General of Border Security Force, were present on the occasion. Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation paid homage to Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore on his birth anniversary.
In his address Union Home Minister said that inauguration and Bhoomi Pujan of many projects of Land Ports Authority of India and BSF has been done today. He said that as an organization, the Land Ports Authority of India not only helps accelerate India’s economy but is also an ambassador of India’s message of friendship. He said that the Land Ports Authority of India is a huge institution which takes forward our cultural and trade relations encompassing over 15 thousand kilometer long land border of India with all South Asian countries. He added that Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has provided a new momentum, direction and dimension to the organisation since 2016. He said that over 600-700 trucks come to Petrapole daily for trading purpose often leading to a problem of overcrowding. However, with the construction of a second cargo gate now, this problem will be solved.
Shri Amit Shah said that between the years 2016-2022, there has been a significant increase in the number of land port cargo and passengers. He said that while in 2016-17, the trade amount was Rs. 18,000 crore, it has now crossed Rs 30,000 crore, which showcases the excellent performance of Land Ports Authority of India. Shri Shah said that in 2022-23, over 20 lakh passengers have moved through the land ports. Additionally, after the construction of the passenger terminal building in Petrapole in 2021, movement of 5 lakh passengers annually, that is, about 11,000 passengers daily, has been facilitated.
Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation said that India-Bangladesh relations are based on the values of shared culture, language, art and life traditions. He said that no one can disrupt the relations between India and Bangladesh. Shri Shah said that the two nations have followed the same culture for thousands of years, and from the birth of Bangladesh till today India has always played a friendly role in the history of Bangladesh. He said that the contribution of the Border Security Force (BSF) in the freedom struggle of Bangladesh is written in golden words, and underlines the cordial and warm relations between India and Bangladesh till today, which will only gain new energy and momentum from hereon.
Shri Amit Shah said that four Border out Posts (BoPs), two residential complexes and one officers building of BSF have been inaugurated today on the Bengal border at a cost of over Rs. 108 crore. He said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, India’s border policy lays great emphasis on the issue of trade. India’s land border of over 15,000 kilometers touches 7 countries and under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, a new policy has been formulated to strengthen our relations and trade with all the countries of South Asia. He said that earlier there was paucity on the issues of border infrastructure, connectivity, trade, people to people connectivity and border village development. Shri Shah said that now under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, border infrastructure is developing, connectivity is increasing, and trade with other countries is increasing. Along with this, people-to-people connectivity is also improving and border villages are being developed as the first village of the country, under the border village development programme.
Union Home Minister said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the government’s border security policy is very clear and precise. The central government is working on building strong infrastructure in border areas and efforts are being made to provide benefits of welfare schemes in border villages like other villages of the country, while also improving connectivity in these villages. He said that by promoting land trade, the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is making efforts to spread business, industry and message of vocal for local in the border villages.
Shri Amit Shah said that the development of land ports is not only important for fulfilling Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s dream of India becoming a $5 trillion economy, but also for ensuring good relations with the neighboring countries. He said that the Land Ports Authority of India is moving forward by working like an ambassador with India’s neighboring countries. Shri Shah said that several initiatives have been taken for the Land Ports Authority of India in the last 5 years. These include Port Automation System, Land Port Management System, Land Port Digital Security and Monitoring System, Digital Port Asset Management System, Suvidha Portal, an Integrated Check Post at Attari and providing passenger amenities at the Agartala Land Port. He said that the Land Ports Authority of India has taken several initiatives and achieved all the objectives of its establishment.
Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation said that from the snowy peaks to the desert and from the land border to the Bay of Bengal, the Border Security Force has left no stone unturned to protect our land and borders everywhere. He said that the security of India’s land borders cannot be imagined without BSF. Shri Shah said that when BSF personnel are posted on the border, nobody worries about the security of the nation’s land borders.