Guwahati: For the first time after the Covid19 pandemic hit the world, Indo-Bhutan border gates to reopen on September 23. Both Samdrup Jhongkhar and Gelephu along the Assam frontier will reopen for tourists next week.
On Wednesday, a Bhutanese delegation, led by Tashi Penjore, the Himalayan kingdom’s director (law and order) of the ministry of home and cultural affairs, held a meeting with Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) officials and announced that the gates will be reopened after a two-and-half-year break.
Penjore said that the Bhutan government has announced the reopening of its borders for trade, commerce, and official transit from September 23, provided the pandemic situation does not worsen any further.
“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 said.
Earlier, Bhutan government only issued entry permits through Phuentsholing and Paro but now has added three additional entry gates for tourists.
Penjore urged Indian tourists to visit 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 Substantial Development Fund (SDF) will be charged for improving services and infrastructure, besides environmental conservation.
To facilitate the seamless movement of travelers, a standard operating procedure (SOP) was also chalked out.
From now, visitors who intend to halt the night and travel beyond the designated points will be charged around Rs 1,200. Tourists have to carry their voter ID cards and other relevant documents while visiting Bhutan.