As the India-Bhutan border reopened after more than two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people from both sides are happy and expressed hope for the warm relationship between both countries to continue.
Speaking to ANI, Yadav Dal, general secretary of Youth block United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL), Chirang said that opening the border after such a long period is a moment to cherish for both the Indian and Bhutanese.
“It is a moment to cherish for both the Indian and Bhutanese. Both sides of the people are happy with this move. They can now once again exchange their culture, economy and social culture. The opening of the economic corridor, will enhance the potential of the economies of both countries. We hope this relationship between India and Bhutan will continue in the future,” Yadav Dal said on September 24.
The India-Bhutan border on September 23 was reopened for international guests following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lokesh Kumar Singh, a commander of the 6th battalion complex of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) said that a company of paramilitary force has been deployed here at the Bhutan border.
“A company of paramilitary force has been deployed here at Bhutan border. The bypassing of the people has been started after the security check. A good relationship has been established with the Bhutan counterpart, they are also cooperating,” Lokesh Kumar Singh said.
While a district official, said: “India-Bhutan relationship, communication, and unity between the two countries have to maintain. For crossing the border, a person has to only show the original voter card and people should maintain and respect the law and order of the country.”
Meanwhile, Bhutan has unveiled a new tourism strategy, underpinned by transformations in three key areas including enhancements to its sustainable development policies, infrastructure upgrades, and the elevation of the guest experience.
Ram Kumar Tama, a tea shop owner on the Indian side, while speaking to ANI had expressed hope for the growth of his business.
“We are happy now and hope that now we can run our business here. Earlier the businesses were impacted as the doors were closed,” he said.
A member of Bhutan India Friendship Association, Ajay said that people here faced difficulty after the closure of the gate.
People of Bhutan faced difficulty due to the closure of the gate, following the COVID-19 pandemic, but since the door now opened they are now relaxed,” Ajay said.
A resident named Anju Guru from Bhutan said that she is awaited to meet her Indian friends.
“I am happy as the border reopens. Business from both sides would improve after this move, it is better for the development of the country. We can now meet our Indian friends,” she said.
While Hari Prasad, a priest at Shiv Mandir in Bhutan said that devotees from the Indian side also visit the temple but due to COVID-19 they were not able to come.
“Earlier, Indian devotees used to come here also but due to Covid and the closure of the gate, they are not able to come. The gate had been closed and we are hopeful that devotees will come here,” he said.
Bhutan closed the India-Bhutan international gate in 2019.