The numbers of two-way travelers from Bangladesh and India passing through the Benapole land port have been gradually increasing since travel restrictions between the two countries were eased on 28 October.
Bangladeshis carrying medical, student and business visas are currently visiting India, while Indians with business and employment visas have been entering Bangladesh.
Ahsan Habib, officer-in-charge of Benapole Check-post Immigration Police, said, "Bangladeshis visiting India for medical purposes need newly issued visas, while businessmen and students can visit the country with their old visas (that are still valid)."
Bangladeshi citizens with diplomatic visas can also enter India.
Sources said 90% of the travelers currently visiting India from Bangladesh are medical visa holders, as India has yet to allow foreign tourists.
With the covid-19 pandemic bringing about a travel ban between Bangladesh and India in March this year, citizens of both countries found themselves stranded.
Bangladeshis with plans to visit India for medical treatment and business were most impacted by the travel restrictions. They are visiting India now to seek treatment or recoup their losses.
Meanwhile, Indians, who were stranded in Bangladesh, have been gradually returning to their home country since the travel ban was relaxed.
Anisur Rahman, a Bangladeshi citizen, told the Business Standard that he was going to India with his wife for both medical treatment and business.
He said, "Bangladeshi travelers are only being provided single-entry medical visas with a three to six-month validity."
"Many patients are convinced that single-entry visas with such short validities are not enough to fulfill their requirements," he added.
Sujan Sen, an officer at the Health Department of the Benapole Immigration office, said passengers from both countries must carry covid-19 negative certificates, issued 72 hours prior to travel. Hordes of people have been gathering at the health department to collect their certificates.
According to sources at the Benapole land port, 30 lakh local and foreign travelers from both Bangladesh and India pass through the port every year.
The government of Bangladesh collects about Tk100 crore in revenue as travel tax from these passengers.
On 4 November, 285 Bangladeshis entered India, while 43 Indians entered Bangladesh through the port.
On the next day (Thursday) more than 200 Bangladeshis entered India till evening, said a port official.