Mughal era 'haats' revived on Indo-Bangla border | india | Hindustan Times
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Mughal era 'haats' revived on Indo-Bangla border

Forty years after border trade between West Bengal and East Pakistan stopped in the event of the birth of Bangladesh, two of the historic border markets are set to reopen soon.

india Updated: Jun 28, 2011 11:19 IST

Forty years after border trade between West Bengal and East Pakistan stopped in the event of the birth of Bangladesh, two of the historic border markets are set to reopen soon.

Situated on the India-Bangladesh border, the once thriving markets, known in local parlance as 'haats', at Balat and Kalaichar in Meghalaya, are abuzz with pre-revival activity.

The reopening of the border haats at Balat in East Khasi Hills district and Kalaichar in West Garo Hills district would be taken up as pilot projects, West Garo Hils deputy commissioner Sanjay Goyal said. Goyal is overseeing the arrangement of revival of the Kalaichar haat which, he said, would restore trade links between the isolated communities along the international border.

Officials say till 1971, border residents from then East Pakistan used to cross over to the Indian side for exchange of goods. But after the creation of Bangladesh, the border haats were closed.

History has it that the haats in Meghalaya were functional even during the Mughal period. The Meghalaya state government is constructing a series of stalls for the vendors and issues relating to security and other business aspects are being discussed with officials from Bangladesh.