Traders allege extra charge at Benapole port
Benapole: Traders highly appreciated the government's move to keep the Benapole land port open round the clock for seven days, but they alleged that the officials of its billing unit have started charging extra as their overtime for working after 5 pm.
Talking to UNB on Wednesday, Motiar Rahman, chairman of the land port subcommittee of Bangladesh-India Chamber of Commerce Industry, said the employees at the port's billing unit are taking extra Tk 500-700 for working after 5 pm.
He said the government has taken the initiative to keep the land port operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week since Tuesday for expanding trade between Bangladesh and India. "It's a good move, but some dishonest officials are trying to thwart it by taking extra money."
As per the government's earlier decision, the authorities have kept open the customs, immigration, banks and other departments concerned in the land port round the clock since Tuesday.
Contacted, Benapole Port deputy director Rezaul Hossain said the tailbacks in port areas have been eased significantly with the fresh initiative, but presence of traders is initially comparatively less at nights.
About the extra-charging allegation, he said they will investigate the matter. "It's certainly an illegal ac if any official or employee takes extra money for their services."
Rezaul said now port officials and employees are working round the clock in two shifts.
He said the port has earned a total of Tk 12 crore as revenue on the first day of 24 hours operation. "The earnings will increase gradually as 34 additional officers were appointed for the customs house to speed up the whole process."
Meanwhile, separate mobile teams of Port and Customs are also working to ensure security of the port and traders at night.