With vehicular movement nil, porters raking in the moolah

  • Local traders are forced to pay hefty amount to carriers as sit-ins continue at the major border crossing

Jan 31, 2016-

Local traders in Birgunj have been forced to pay more transportation charges while importing goods from Raxaul in India.

With sit-ins still continuing on Birgunj-Raxaul border, traders are paying more transportation charges to porters. 

One of the importers of Aadarshanagar said he paid Rs 10,000 to porters while transporting 10 packets of goods from Raxaul. “However, we also paid Rs 2,000 in revenue for those goods at the Birgunj customs,” he said.   

After four months since the blockade, five cargo trucks had entered Nepal through Birgunj-Raxaul point on Friday morning. But no vehicular movement was seen thereafter. 

However, according to Birgunj Customs Office, goods have been coming in for the last few days with the help of porters. 

The porters are being used to carry goods along the one kilometre stretch between Raxaul customs and Birgunj customs. 

Local traders said they were facing difficulties while transporting goods through the Miteri bridge. 

Requesting anonymity, one of the importers in Birgunj said they have been using “carriers” to bring goods from Raxaul to Birgunj. 

“We have been paying around Rs 500 to 2,000 to porters for carrying each packet of goods,” he said, informing that there 18 various “carrier groups” working in the area. It is learnt that there are around 20 to 22 porters in one group. 

The porters utilise the time when there are a handful of protesters at the bridge to carry goods from Raxaul to Birgunj. 

The porters have been working along the Miteri bridge since mid-January. 

In the past, there were reports of clashes between protesters and porters and traders. 

Witnesses said there are very few protesters remaining in the bridge now. Porters and cart-pullers work actively during the night, they said.

“During the night, there are many porters and carts pullers seen in the border.” 

Meanwhile, majority of local supporters of the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM) have been dissatisfied as Birgunj locals have been hugely affected due to the border blockade.

“If the SLMM continues protests on Birgunj-Raxaul border, the Morcha leaders should enforce bandas at all Nepal-India border points,” said one of the SLMM activists, informing that all Nepal-India border points save Birgunj have been relaxed for the past few days. “Only Birgunj border will not be responsible in performing agitation for Madhes,” he said, adding that Birgunj locals were affected more than locals of other Nepal-India border points. 

The SLMM supporters in Birgunj have also advised their central leaders to change the form of the protest.

Published: 31-01-2016 09:16

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