India and Bangladesh have jointly agreed to open two more border ‘haats’ in Meghalaya Ryngku and Nalikata – next month, officials said on Tuesday. The number of such marketplaces will increase to four in the northeastern state when the two facilities will be made operational. Ryngku border ‘haat’ in East Khasi Hills district will open on May 12, and Nalikata in South West Khasi Hills on May 16, the officials said.
Authorities in both the countries have also reopened a border haat at Balat in Meghalaya’s East Khasi Hills after a gap of two years owing to COVID-19 restrictions. The Joint Border Haat Management Committee decided to reopen this in a meeting held on April 19, an official said India and Bangladesh have seven established border ‘haats’ and nine more are in the pipeline, he said.
These border ‘haats’ are marketplaces that have been established to enable local residents on both sides to market and consume their produce. The initiative is adding new dimensions to establish people-to-people connections.
According to studies and on-ground reviews, border ‘haats’ have created employment opportunities for the local community, especially for women and youth, who have emerged as providers of various services such as transporters, vendors, workers and food stall owners.
At these markets, locally produced agricultural and horticultural products, minor forest produce, dry fish, items of cottage industry, handloom and handicrafts and wooden furniture are allowed to be sold.
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