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Wagah touch at B'desh border

Feel of Wagah at Indo-Bangla border

india Updated: Aug 04, 2006 03:55 IST

Tourists may soon get to see a retreat ceremony of border guards in the state on the lines of the colourful one at Wagah. The Union ministry of home affairs plans to introduce such a ceremony at the land port of Petrapole in North 24-Parganas district.

The decision was taken keeping in view the tourist attraction of the BSF and Pakistani Rangers changing guard at the Wagah border.

Confirming the home ministry's plan, Damodar Sarangi, additional director-general (east) of the BSF, told HT on Thursday that the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) has agreed to take part in the retreat ceremony, to be performed every day at Petrapole. It would be the first such ceremony along the eastern frontiers.

An upbeat Sarangi was hopeful that "Petrapole will attract a host of tourists from neighbouring states as well."

In fact, Petrapole is the largest land port in the eastern frontier. In addition to huge freight trans-shipment, more than 1,000 people travelling to and from Bangladesh, use it as a transit point. A direct bus between Kolkata and Dhaka also pass through the port.

The frontier force has not yet finalised the date for the new retreat ceremony as all official formalities have not been completed as of now.

"We'll have to develop a lot of infrastructure as well at Petrapole," Sarangi said. Galleries for visitors, like the ones at Wagah border, have to be put up, he added.

The MHA is also eyeing Akhawra border — close to Agartala — for another such ceremony, he added. He was, however, unsure how far the "land-locked state of Tripura" will be able to attract tourists. But for now Petrapole can look up for more tourist footfalls.