Cargo truck from Bangladesh crosses barriers to reach Delhi
NEW DELHI: A cargo truck from Bangladesh travelled more than 1,850 kilometres and drove past customs barriers to reach Delhi this week, demonstrating in a trial run the benefits of the Motor Vehicle Agreement inked by Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal. The truck started from Dhaka on August 27, reached Petrapole the next day and entered Kolkata the day after.
In India, it travelled through West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, UP and Haryana, before driving seamlessly through the Inland Customs Depot in Patparganj in Delhi. Officials said the trial run was organised to facilitate development of protocols for implementing the agreement.
Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal had in June last year signed the agreement in Thimphu to facilitate crossborder movement of both passenger and cargo vehicles. Encouraged by the Modi government's 'neighbourhood first' policy, the four countries took the initiative after Pakistan did not agree to ratify the Motor Vehicle Agreement and railways pact for Saarc (South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation) countries.
The truck was issued an e-permit for the trial run through an online system for customs-free movement.
This will help establish a customer friendly process acceptable to and recognised by all the four countries, officials said. The consignment did not have to undergo any customs clearance at the India-Bangladesh border.
Instead, when it reached the first Indian customs station at border point Petrapole, a GPS tracking device was fixed on the truck so that the goods could be inspected for customs clearance at Delhi rather than at the border.
An online vehicle tracking system was also installed in the truck that facilitated real-time monitoring. The truck was thus allowed to pass through without delay at the border.