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BBIN rally leaves Agartala for Bangladesh port city Chittagong

People wave the Bangladesh national flags as they prepare to rehearse singing the national anthem in an attempt to break a Guinness record at the national parade ground in Dhaka March 26, 2014. According to the organizers, at least 254,681 people gathered and sang in chorus the national anthem at the National Parade Square grounds on Wednesday, to break a 2013 record of the greatest number of people singing the same National or regional anthem at the same time. Bangladesh celebrated its 43rd Independence Day on Wednesday. REUTERS/Andrew Biraj (BANGLADESH - Tags: ANNIVERSARY SOCIETY) - RTR3IM3M

Agartala, Nov.28 : Tripura Chief Secretary Y. P. Singh on Saturday flagged off the third leg of the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) Friendship Motor Car Rally from Agartala.

The rally, consisting of as many as 77 participants — three women and 74 men — travelling in 20 SUVs reached here last night from Assam’s Silchar city. The participants were given a warm reception by the state government and various other organizations.

The first leg of the rally, jointly organized by the Kalinga Motor Sports Club of Odisha in partnership with clubs from the neighboring countries and the Union Road Transport and Highways Ministry, was flagged off from Bhubaneswar on November 15.

Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) had signed a regional motor vehicle agreement, paving way for movement of people and goods among the four SAARC member countries.

The agreement has three component movements of individual vehicles, passenger vehicles and cargo.

Among others, Bangladesh Deputy Secretary (Home) Nirod Chandra Mandal, Nepal’s representative Dasharath Bishal and Bhutan’s representative Teshiang Rinjen were travelling with the rally.

All of them expressed that the BBIN agreement once implemented would lead to economic integration of the region and help improve relations with India’s neighbouring countries.

“Earlier along with our visa, we had to take separate car visa for entering be it from India to Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan or vice versa and it was very tough to enter with cargo but once this treaty is implemented, if anyone wants to enter any of these nations shall be able to get spot permission from the border entry point. So the process is becoming very easy and will help in business and economy beside exchange of culture,” said Arun Bhatia, a member of the rally team from Kolkata.

“Like we go to Puri from Kolkata we shall be able to enter Bangladesh and for that we will just need to get registered at the gates during entering and exiting. The month long process of valuation and others will not be required. This is a small effort and if it is successful then we shall have similar agreements with other SAARC nations like India, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Thailand,” he added.

He, however, stressed that to make this agreement successful the pitiable road conditions especially in lower Assam’s Silchar to Churaibari border with Tripura has to be improved.

Meantime, Nepal’s representative Dasharath Bishal said, “Once the BBIN agreement is implemented, it will further strengthen the relation between the SAARC nations like Europe where the people with a single visa can visit all the nations. Similarly, the people of SAARC with one visa can visit all the SAARC nations.”

The rally will today enter Bangladesh through South Tripura’s Belonia town for Chittagong and then to Dhaka.

It will culminate in Kolkata on December 2 after covering the state capitals of Jharkhand, Bihar, Sikkim, Bhutan, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Chittagong and Dhaka in Bangladesh. (ANI)