With the inauguration of a gate at Baubazar, Jaigaon yesterday, the country’s biggest commercial hub, Phuentsholing, now has a second gate for entry into the country.

While the concrete gate is at Jaigaon side, a metal gate has been built adjacent to the building that houses the office of the police, forest, immigration, and Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA) on Phuentsholing side.

The Department of Law and Order (BLO) director, representatives from Phuentsholing thromde and drungkhag with the counterpart officials from Alipurduar, Assam inaugurated the gate.

From Alipurduar, the district magistrate Devi Prasad Karnam and superintendent of police and several other officials attended the inauguration.

Light vehicles and two-wheelers will have to use this gate to enter into Phuentsholing from Jaigaon. They will not be allowed to enter from the first main gate.

However, entry into Jaigaon from the second gate will not be allowed. Light vehicles and two-wheelers will have to take the first main gate to enter into Jaigaon. People are also not allowed to walk across from the second gate.

Meanwhile, medium and heavy vehicles will enter into Phuentsholing from the first main gate. Commercial trucks can directly go to the customs and clearance office.

BLO director Tashi Penjore said that the second gate is important to both the peoples of Bhutan and India. “It is a win-win situation for people on both sides, as it will facilitate and ease traffic congestion in both the towns.”

Meanwhile, two traffic points in Phuentsholing town have also been changed to enable smooth flow of vehicles.

Phuentsholing thromde officials said that the second gate system is a temporary measure, as once the mini dry port, which is close to the second gate is ready and connected with the northern bypass, all industrial trucks and other commercial trucks will be let through this second gate. “Light vehicles will then take the first gate for entry and exits,” an official said.

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing