The overflow of India-bound tourists at Jashore’s Benapole land port is on the rise. During the three-day Eid holiday, more than 11,000 people have gone to India through the Benapole port.
Most of them have gone as tourist to spend the Eid holidays. In addition, many have gone for medical treatment.
Benapole immigration office is struggling to handle the pressure of tourists. People are facing extreme level of hassle due to the extra pressure of passport-holders.
Benapole Immigration Office sources said two days before the Eid on Friday, record number of people travelled to India via Benapole.
Earlier, 4,000 people never travelled to India through Benpole in a single day. One day prior to the Eidul-Azha, as many as 3,886 people went to India from this port on Saturday, while on Sunday the Eid day, the number of tourists was 2,777.
Pranab Das, a journalist based in Jashore traveled to India on Friday. He said, “I have come to Kolkata for the Eid holidays. I’ll return to work on 15 July after the 7-day holiday."
On the issue of facing hassle at the port Pranab Das said, “I have been travelling to India through Benapole port since 1985. But, I never had to go through this much hassle before. It took me five hours to pass Benapole immigration. The situation grew unbearable because of the scorching heat."
"There were immigration workers only in four booths and all the other booths were just empty. The immigration officers didn’t have any extra preparation to cope up with the pressure of additional travelers. As a result, people had to suffer", he added.
However, Abul Kalam Azad, officer-in-charge of Benapole immigration police said, “The number of people travelling to India through Benapole port has increased to a record amount, which is almost twice the number than the usual. The majority of them are travelling on tourist visas to spend the Eid holidays and to do shopping.”
“In normal times following the coronavirus outbreak, maximum 3,000 people have travelled between Bangladesh and India every day. But this time before and after the Eid, on average 5,000 people have traveled daily. Meanwhile, on 8 July record number of people travelled to India. About 7,000 people have travelled between the two countries in a single day. Of them 4,500 people have gone to India for the Eid holidays,” he added.
In reply to the question, whether they have taken any preparatory measures to deal with the extra pressure of travelers he said, “There was no such preparation for handling the extra pressure. But, all 14 booths are active for processing the immigration documents. Those employees who were on leave have returned to work before their leave ended. We presume, there will be such pressure in the next few days as well.”