Tatopani customs to open by May: Mahaseth

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Oct 15, 2018-

Minister for Physical infrastructure and Transport Raghubir Mahaseth has said that the Tatopani customs in Sindhupalchok will come into operation by May 2019. The customs office between Nepal and China is out of operation after the area suffered heavy damage from the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake.

Minister Mahaseth on Sunday said that the government will mobilise a team to upgrade and maintain the customs point after the Dashain festival.“The governments of Nepal and China have completed the preparations to hold an agreement to open the major border point between the two countries,” he said.

On the first week of September, a technical team comprising of officials from Nepal and China had concluded that the Tatopani customs could be operated once the dry port is constructed the infrastructures in area are repaired.The dry port, which is being built under the financial and technical assistance of China, is expected to be completed by May 2019. ‘

Officials say that the condition of road on Nepal’s side, which is impassable at the moment, can be repaired within five to six months. Around 4km road from Bahrabise requires major repair works.With Nepal and China poised to resume the bilateral trade through the Tatopani customs, Dolakha Road Division Office is preparing a detailed action plan.

“A special plan will guide us on the efficient management of roads, electricity among other infrastructures,” said Ashok Tiwari, the office chief.

Director General of the Department of Roads Rabindra Shrestha said to ensure that the customs point is brought into operation in time it was important to clear the debris of buildings and other structures that were flattened by the earthquake.To facilitate the movement of goods and people between the two countries, he said a bailey bridge could be installed until the Nepal-China Friendship Bridge is rebuilt.

China has already initiated the process of reconstructing the bridge. Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara during his recent visit to Lhasha had laid the foundation stone for the bridge. The project is expected to cost Rs 480 million and take about 18 months to complete.

Nepal needs to ramp up the infrastructure reconstruction works in Tatopani and its adjoining areas, as the works on the Chinese side are already close to completion. Construction of 20km of road from Nyalam to Zhangmu (Khasa) stretch has been completed on the Chinese side, officials said.

Published: 15-10-2018 08:02

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