After a span of two years, Bangladesh-India border haat at Lauwaghar-Balat reopened on Tuesday.
Balat is a town in the Indian state of Meghalaya (East Khasi Hills District) while Lauwaghar is at Dalora under Sunamganj district, Bangladesh.
The joint border haat management committee decided to re-open this border haat in a joint meeting held on 19 April, according to Indian High Commission in Dhaka.
The committee has also decided to open re-open two more border haats – Ryngku (East Khasi Hills, Meghalaya)-Bagan Bari (Duara Bazar, Sunamganj) on 12 May and Nalikata (South West Khasi Hills, Meghalaya)-Saydabad (Tahirpur, Sunamganj) on 16 May.
At present, Bangladesh and India have seven established border haats and nine more new border haats are in pipeline.
Border haats between the two countries are ready markets that have been established to enable local residents on both sides of the border to market and consume their "local produce".
They are adding new dimensions in cross border trade and people to people connectivity.
According to studies and on-ground reviews, border haats have created employment opportunities for the local community, especially for women and youth, who have emerged as providers of various services: transporters, vendors, workers and food stall owners.
It has also provided additional source of disposable income for the border community and enhanced people to people connect.
Border haats are vibrant centres promoting people to people connectivity, where local community from Bangladesh and India gets an opportunity to sell locally produced agricultural and horticultural products, small agriculture and household goods, minor forest products, fresh and dry fish, cottage industry items, wooden furniture, handloom and handicraft items, etc.