Indo-Myanmar land route opened, set to boost trade

IMPHAL,8th Aug: Indian and Myanmarese officials formally opened the Indo-Myanamr land route in a historic ceremony held Wednesday at the bridge over Manel river which seperates the two countries near Moreh town. Top officers of both the neighbouring countries took part in the ceremony. The Indian side was led by Consulate General to Myanmar Nandan Singh Bhaisoria, Act East Policy in Manipur convener Rk Shivachandra, additional chief secretary, secretary (Transport), sceretary (Home),MCCI representatives among others while the Myanmar side was represented by permanent secretary of Ministry of Labour Immigration and Population Aye Lwin, Tamu DC Myint Thin Aung and Tamu deputy DC Nyein Tun Kyaw.

Speaking on the occassion, Nandan Bhaisoria conveyed that the land border points of Tamu-Moreh was opened on Wednesday after 90 days of signing the agreement on border land crossing at Naypyitaw. He informed that the agreement was signed by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on May 11 during her visit to Myanmar. He added that there is a provision in the Agreement for border pass for the people living within border areas (of both the countries) of 16 kms of the border on both sides.

While stating that opening of border points of Tammu-Moreh will go a long way in materializing the objectives of Act East Policy, particularly between Manipur and Myanmar, the Consulate General opined that this will strengthen the relations between the two countries apart from enabling people from both sides to cross the land border, including for accessing health and education services. This will also enhance the border trade, economic activities, tourism of various forms, cultural exchange, and people to people contact and their socio-economic interaction, he added.

India is already in the process to improve the road connectivity by undertaking two large projects, one for renovation of 69 bridges between Tamu and Kalay and the other being upgrading of roads between Kalewa and Yargyi, he said and exuded confidence that the developmental works can be completed by 2020.

In his address, Shivachandra described the opening of land route border points as a historic moment of both the countries and a materialization of a long cherished dream of the people. He maintained that many of the hindrances and hassles that were prevailed among the people of the two countries will be minimised to a great extent by the opening of the land route border points.

Now the people of India, particularly Manipuris who possess passports and visas can easily travel to South East Asian countries via Tamu-Moreh, he said, adding that in the past there were lengthy procedures for Indians to travel in the neighbouring country.

Officials from Manipur and Myanmar later held a meeting at ICP Moreh and discussed at length about the aspects of improving the relation between the two countires as well as issues related to materialization of the goals of Act East policy. Showcasing of cultural dances by various cultural troupes of Myanmar and Manipur also marked the event.

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