For the first time since the COVID- 19 outbreak, the India- Bhutan border gates at Samdrup Jhongkhar and Gelephu along the Assam border will reopen to tourists from September 23.
Tashi Penjore, the Himalayan area’s Director( law and order) of the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs, led a Bhutanese delegation that met with Bodoland Territorial Council( BTC) officers then on Wednesday and announced that the gates would be restarted after a two-and-a-half-year hiatus. As the COVID- 19 scenario has bettered, the Bhutan government has announced that its borders will reopen for trade, commerce, and sanctioned transit on September 23, assuming the pandemic situation doesn’t worsen, according to Penjore.
“Over the last two-and-half years, many officials on both sides have changed and we were not able to meet and establish friendship and person-to-person contacts which are essential for people residing along the border areas of the two countries. We look forward to more such visits,” he said.
He urged Indian tourists to visit colorful places in Bhutan after entering through the Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar gates.
“ before, we only issued entry permits through Phuentsholing and Paro but now we’ve added three fresh entry gates for tourists, ” he said.
He stated that a Substantial Development Fund( SDF) will be charged for perfecting services and structure, as well as environmental conservation.
Bhutan’s government has planned eco-tourism, raspberry-watching, and other caller packages. A Standard Operating Procedure( bribe) has been developed to ensure the smooth movement of trippers.
Callers who wish to spend the night and trip beyond the designated points will be charged Rs,200, according to him. The sanction prompted excursionists to bring namer ID cards and other necessary documents when visiting the Himalayan country.
The meeting was attended by the deputy officers and directors of police from Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baksa, and Udalguri sections, in addition to BTC officers.