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Industrialists urge govt to promote Bhairahawa

- MADHAV DHUNGANA, BHAIRAHAWA

May 12, 2018-

Industrialists and business people of Bhairahawa have asked the government to put forward their agendas like integrated check post (ICP), air route for Gautam Buddha International Airport and railway connectivity to the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in the district during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Nepal. 

According to the industrialists of the region, Bhairahawa has been attracting fair amount of investment lately due to favourable business environment and aforementioned infrastructural development will attract further investment.

“If these demands are met, bilateral trade between Nepal and India will flourish and Bhairahawa will be developed as economic hub,” said Kul Prasad Neupane, president of Siddhartha Chamber of Commerce. “And it will attract more national and international investors.”  

Although Nepal and India signed an agreement in 2005 to build an ICP at Bhairahawa and four other locations along the border, its construction in Bhairahawa is in limbo due to the apathy shown by the Indian side. The Indian side has yet to acquire the land necessary for the construction of the post while Nepal completed the land acquisition seven years ago.  

“If the ICP is built at Bhairahawa, almost all types of problems and anomalies at the current customs point will be solved,” said Krishna Man Ghimire, a local businessman. “Due to lack of ICP, cargo vehicles have to wait in a long queue.”

As there is lack of parking space at border point, the vehicles are parked on the road, causing traffic congestion that lasts for hours. Such congestion is severely disturbing locals and tourists travelling across the border.

Similarly, the industrialists have also asked the government to request the Indian Premier Modi to connect the SEZ with a railway to facilitate exports to India. “As soon as electricity is supplied to the SEZ, the production will start,” said Narayan Bhandai, president of Rupandehi Chamber of Commerce. “It will be easier to export goods as well as import raw material via cargo train.”

At present, the raw material is offloaded from the train in Gorakhpur which is 150km away from Bhairahawa and transported to Nepal on trucks. The direct railway service at SEZ will reduce transportation costs significantly.

The industrialists have also demanded that the government engage in talks with India to provide air route to the new international airport being built in the region.

Published: 12-05-2018 09:07

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