India’s Border Security Forces (BSF) has objected to construction of an immigration office building at Akhaura land port in Brahmanbaria, according to a letter it sent to its Bangladesh counterpart recently.
This is the second time that construction has been halted due to objection from BSF, our Brahmanbaria correspondent reports.
When contacted, Brahmanbaria Police Superintendent Mohammad Anisur Rahman told The Daily Star, “BSF said buildings higher than 35 feet cannot be constructed near the border. They stopped construction of the six-storey immigration check post when its foundation pillars were being installed.”
The building’s design has been modified by slashing two floors and sent to the police headquarters, the SP added. The modified design was also sent to BSF through Border Guard Bangladesh.
BGB’s 25 Battalion Commander Lt Col Muhammad Golam Kabir said, “We have notified police of the objection from BSF. The concerned ministry will now settle the issue. BGB has nothing to do with it.”
Sources said the tender process was completed in 2016 and a firm – M/s Business Syndicate International -- took charge of constructing the first two floors of the building at a cost of Tk 6.25 crore.
On condition of anonymity, an official of the construction firm said they have modified the building’s design.
Akhaura immigration police officials said BSF first interrupted when the firm gathered construction materials in March 2017, after receiving the work order. The construction was suspended for about two and a half years.
The firm resumed construction in September last year under the supervision of Special Branch of the district police. The BSF again interrupted by objecting to the design.
Sub-Inspector Abdul Hamid, Akhaura International Immigration Check Post in-charge, said more than a thousand tourists cross the border every day via Akhaura check post, the second largest land port in the country.
The current one-storeyed immigration building has only two rooms and is in a dilapidated state. When it rains, the front of the building gets inundated, causing immense suffering to passengers and immigration officials. As a result, tourists have demanded construction of a new immigration office with modern facilities.
The Brahmanbaria SP said BSF has informed them that they will meet soon to take a decision on the matter. “We are awaiting their decision.”
The task needs to be completed quickly, as tourists are suffering, he added.
Akhaura Export Import Association General Secretary Shafiqul Islam said there are several high-rise buildings, including an immigration office building, on the Indian side in Agartala.