New Delhi fails to keep its supply ‘promise’

- Devendra Bhattarai, NEW DELHI

Nov 10, 2015-

Despite India hinting at relaxing its blockade from Monday, there was no visible progress in the movement of essential goods into Nepal due to a lack of “coordination among the authorities on the ground”.In a meeting in New Delhi on Sunday evening, India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval had conveyed his message to Nepali Ambassador Deep Kumar Upadhyay that transport disruption at major customs points, except Birgunj-Raxaul, would end soon.

“I received the message of immediate transport resumption. But the [supply] situation remained the same today,” Upadhyay told the Post. He was told that the supply of essentials would be eased through border points where there are no protests by the Madhes-based parties.“But there is no clear indication about opening the Birgunj-Raxaul border passage,” said Upadhyay. India had hinted that the busiest customs would not reopen immediately.

Nepal government on Monday urged India to lift the blockade and normalise trade and transit. However, the Indian government has yet to respond to the call.“The blockade has been eased to some extent as media within and outside India questioned its ‘cautious intervention’ into Nepal though India denies a blockade,” said a diplomatic source. He alleged that India had been using the Birgunj-Raxaul point as a “bargaining chip” at a time when Nepal’s new constitution is in the process of amendment.

About 5,000 cargo trucks, including fuel tankers, have been stuck in Raxaul, India, for over a month. 

Around 2,000 trucks carrying goods from third countries have also piled up there.

Nepal-India pressure group formed Traders formed a high-level group on Monday to mount pressure on the authorities in India and Nepal to address the fuel crisis that has crippled industrial output.They decided to form the group after a meeting with their Indian counterparts aligned with the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) that have business links with Nepal.Pradeep Kumar Shrestha, former chairman of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said they had discussed the matter with officials from the CII and Nepali investors before forming the pressure group.The group would help identify problems on both sides and press the authorities in both the countries to improve the situation, said Shrestha.

Suraj Vaidya, senior vice-chairman of the Saarc Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said entrepreneurs from both countries would work to form a strategic group to address the problems.

Published: 10-11-2015 08:30

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