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Nepal, China trade halted due to landslide

- Krishna Thapa, RASUWAGADHI

Jul 22, 2017-Rasuwagadhi-Kerung, Nepal’s only gateway to land trade with China has been obstructed due to landslides. The Pasang Lhamu Highway in Rasuwa district has been hammered by incessant rainfall since Thursday, triggering landslides.

This has negatively affected the movement of containers carrying export goods travelling to China.

According to District Administrative Office in Rasuwa, landslides occurred at three different locations.

“We are making full efforts to clear the landslides so as not to obstruct the movement of containers headed for China,” said Chomendra Neupane, Chief District Officer of Rasuwa.

Neupane said that they have two bulldozers on site to clear the landslide debris. Other entities are also helping to clear the debris.

Since the Chinese government closed Tatopani customs point after the devastating April 25 earthquake that struck Nepal two years ago, Rasuwagadhi-Kerung is the only entry point for trading with the northern neighbour. On a normal day, an average of 50-70 containers goods is traded through Rasuwagadhi-Kerung. But the trading route is now in peril due to the landslides triggered by rainfall and road maintenance by the Chinese authority on their side.

As per Rasuwagadhi Customs Chief Kedar Paneru, since Chinese authority started road maintenance in the segment eight months ago, the movement has come down to 15-20 containers. “With the continuous rainfall in the past few days, only 4-5 loaded containers have been passing through,” said Neupane.

The trade route was officially opened for bilateral trading on December 2, 2014. However, it is frequently obstructed due to poor infrastructure on the Nepal side.

Nepal imports goods such as apples, readymade garments, footwear, toys, herbs like jimbu, cosmetics, electronic products through this border point. In return, Nepal exports flour, chilli, rice, noodles, fruit juice among others.

Published: 22-07-2017 08:27

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