Govt team starts study on dry port in Far West

- BHAWANI BHATTA, KANCHANPUR

Jan 13, 2016-The government has begun a study for the development of dry port at Chandani Dodhara in Kanchanpur district, the far-western region of Nepal.A team led by Laxman Bahadur Basnet, executive director of the Nepal Intermodal Transport Development Committee, comprising technicians and management personnel has started conducting a field study of the proposed dry port. The proposed project was approved through the minister-level decision.The team will identify the areas for the dry port and conduct an initial survey and design of the proposed facilities. On Monday, the technical team and the government officials from Finance, Physical Infrastructure ministries and Department of Customs and Roads held an interaction with the locals, political leaders and officials of the Kanchanpur Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

According to Basnet, the government’s move to develop a dry port in the Far West is a part of its strategy to balance the proposed provinces in the new Constitution.   

Currently, Inland Clearance Depot or dry ports are inoperation in Birgunj and Kakarvitta, while the government has been planning to construct such facilities in Biratnagar, Bhairahawa, Tatopani and Rasuwa as well.“Our team will make necessary study on the access to road with India, find areas for the proposed facility and study the need and financial viability of the dry port,” said Basnet. Likewise, study will also be conducted on connecting the South Asian highway and railway access with the proposed dry port, he said.  

The government will hold negotiation with donors willing to fund on the project

and appoint consultants as soon as possible,Basnet said, adding that two separate team-technical and management-will prepare their separate reports on the project’s financial and technical viability.

“Based on the studies, field survey and design of the project will be carried out. After the reports are submitted to the government, necessary discussion will be initiated with the Indian government as well,” Basnet added.The government is also constructing a new bridge in Mahakali River in the view of linking the dry port with India, said Ram Prasad Regmi, chief of Kanchanpur Customs Office. He said that due to the proximity with Delhi and in the view of growing industries in the bordering Uttarkhand in India, trade activities are expected to grow by as much as 90 percent at the dry port in the Far West. “For this, the bridge should be expanded to four lanes from the proposed two lanes.” A recent field survey has suggested that a new bridge can be built at Odali in Bhimdutta Municipality.  Regmi said that the dry port could be connected with major sea ports in Mumbai and Delhi, which enjoy a direct trading with the European and American markets. Nepal, at present, has access to only Kolkata and Haldia ports.

 

Published: 13-01-2016 09:05

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