Aizawl: Mizoram Rajya Sabha member K. Vanlalvena on Tuesday urged the Centre to establish a consulate in Mizoram to facilitate the issuance of visas or travel documents for Mizoram’s two neighbours: Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Speaking during the zero hour in the ongoing budget session, Vanlalvena said people face hurdles in obtaining visas to go to Bangladesh and Myanmar due to the absence of a consulate.

He said that the nearest foreign embassies are located in Kolkata.

“Apart from establishing border trade centres, I request the Central government to establish a consulate in Mizoram,” Vanlalvena said.

The MP also thanked the Centre for making efforts to establish border trade centre at Tlabung in south Mizoram’s Lunglei district to boost the Indo-Bangladesh border trade.

He said that the border trade centre would also benefit other Northeastern states.

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According to Vanlavena, Mizoram shares a 318-km long international border with Bangladesh, of which 60 per cent is connected by rivers.

During the British rule, he said, the people of Mizoram used to go to Kolkata via Chittagong (now in Bangladesh) through Kawthlang Tuipui river that runs along the Indo-Bangladesh border.

The river was then navigable by small boat throughout the year, he said.

However, for 75 years after India independence the river has been blocked and as a result, many border villages have become landlocked, he said.

Earlier on Sunday, Mizoram commerce and industries minister Dr. R. Lalthangliana met with Bangladesh commerce minister Tipu Munshi at the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka to boost the Indo-Bangladesh border trade.

The meeting decided to conduct joint spot verification in May to expedite the construction of Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Kawrpuichhuah in Tlabung area in Lunglei district, an official statement had said Monday.

Lalthangliana urged the Bangladesh government to play its part and execute necessary works to expedite the construction of border trade centre and to make the border haats along the Indo-Bangladesh border becomes fully operational and make use by both the countries, the statement had said.

Citing that there is ample scope for boosting trade and commerce between Mizoram and Bangladesh, Lalthangliana also informed the Bangladeshi minister that Mizoram can export bamboos, timbers, gingers, chillies, spice, turmeric, orange, stone and handicraft products.

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