Keeping in mind the ongoing pandemic and the lull in overseas trading, India’s access to Ahllay in Bhutan’s Pasakha is expected to facilitate bilateral trades and commerce between the two countries. Bhutan, too, will have access to the route connecting from India. By Smrithi Suresh

 

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On Wednesday, India and Bhutan established a new Jaigaon-Phuentsholing route aimed at facilitating better connectivity following a request from the Royal Government of Bhutan.

A press release on July 15  from the Embassy of India in Thimpu stated that the land route from Jaigaon in West Bengal, India to Ahllay in Pasakha, Bhutan will be highly beneficial for movement of industrial raw materials and goods to Pasakha Industrial Estate, and will also ease vehicular traffic.

The Ambassador of India to Bhutan, Ruchira Kamboj said in a tweet that this decision is a “step forward” in strengthening the special relationship with their closest partner country — Bhutan. She has also tweeted, “We are very pleased to provide temporary access through Ahllay for the movement of heavy vehicles and trucks from India to Bhutan.”

 

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According to reports, an additional Land Customs Station (LCS) was also inaugurated in Ahllay in the presence of officials from Bhutan and Consulate General of India in Phuentsholing, Ashish Middha. On Wednesday, he made an official announcement of the same with a 28-second video on Twitter.

Currently, India is the largest trading destination for Bhutan’s exports and a prominent source for imports. Bhutan imports industrial materials and vegetables, while India exports a large share of wood products, food and Portland cement. The Indian government has also reportedly helped open two new bridges in Bhutan, namely Rabten Zam and Nyala Zam, as per a tweet by Kamboj.

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