TODAY -
Mizoram poised for border trade boom
Source: The Sangai Express / Laishram Shamungou

Aizawl, November 19 2010: Despite being the natural route of Indo-Myanmar border trade activities, Manipur has been struggling to reap the benefit due to several factors like poor communication facilities and unstable law and order condition.

But it has been smooth sailing for an off-location State like Mizoram with the possibility of surpassing Manipur in the near future.

However, activities like construction of Integrated Check Post at Moreh in Manipur under Land Port Authority of India as part of the efforts being made by the Government of India for development of border trade is not seen in Mizoram.

A team of 13 journalists from Manipur who recently conducted a tour of Mizoram experienced first-hand of what a striving border trade activities should be like.

Along with developing Zokhawthar, which is located some 200 kms from the capital Aizawl, in the bordering Champhai district, as a border trade centre, the Mizoram Government has been leaving no stone unturned for development of border trade with Myanmar.

Unlike in Manipur, in Mizoram there is also no dispute among the villagers settling on either side of the International border.

To facilitate border trade activities, Mizoram Government has constructed building for housing Land Customs Office, Police Check Gate, Bank branch of SBI, etc, all under one roof and development of other required infrastructures is underway.

Interacting with the visiting journalists from Manipur, Deputy Commissioner of Champhai district Vijay Kumar Bidhuri explained that the ongoing border trade activities between Mizoram and Myanmar is of recent development and it is being carried out on barter system with not much of trade volume.

Although the touring journalists did not come across any large market for carrying out border trade in Zokhawthar, at the bordering Khawmang of Myanmar, a row of wine shops doing roaring business could be seen.

Talking to the visiting journalists in his office chamber, Chief Secretary of Mizoram Van Hela Pachou disclosed that development of border road in Mizoram to connect Tedim of Myanmar for development of the border trade activities is on card under the Look East Policy of the Government of India.

Another stark contrast between Manipur and Mizoram is that the condition of the road from capital Aizawl to Champhai is very good and there is no security check post all along this road, another sign of peace prevailing in Mizoram.

It is learnt that at the instruction of Ministry of External Affairs, the Government has sanctioned a Rs 610 crores Multi-Model Transport Project over the Koodyene river of Mizoram that would cover a distance of 750 kms to connect Sittwet Seaport in Myanmar.

Targeted to be completed by 2014, the said Project will also connect Mizoram with Kolkata through sea route.

The project is expected to open a new chapter in trade activities of Mizoram not only with Myanmar but also with other metropolitan cities of India.


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