India-Bhutan border gates to reopen on Sept 23 after 2.5 years

India-Bhutan border gates to reopen on Sept 23 after 2.5 years

India-Bhutan border gates at Samdrup Jongkhar and Gelephu along the Assam frontier will reopen for tourists on September 23 after a two-and-half-year hiatus induced by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The Government of Bhutan has officially announced that the international border with India will be opened on Sept 23 as Covid cases have subsided. We are preparing to open the border and give visitors a good experience,” said Tashi Penjore, the Himalayan kingdom’s Director (law and order) of the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs.

“Over the last two-and-half years, many officials on both sides have changed and we were not able to meet and establish friendship and person-to-person contacts which are essential for people residing along the border areas of the two countries. We look forward to more such visits,” he added.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Bhutanese official held a meeting with the Commandant of the 15th Battalion of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and in-charge of Regional Headquarters Neeraj Chand and all the SSB officials regarding the same. The meeting was held in the regional headquarters of SSB located at Chaprakata in the Bongaigaon district of Assam.

He also urged Indian tourists to visit different places in Bhutan after entering the country through the Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar gates. The Bhutan government has planned eco-tourism, bird-watching and other packages for visitors. A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) has been chalked out to facilitate seamless movement of travellers, Penjore informed.

With inputs from news agencies

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