Feasibility study launched for dry port in Gulariya

- KAMAL PANTHI, GULARIA
Gulariya-Murtiha border point has remained closed even seven years after Nepal and India agreed to open it. This has created difficulties for traders and local people

Feb 20, 2017-The government has launch feasibility study for building a dry port at Surajpur in Gulariya, Bardia.

Recently, representatives from the Commerce Ministry, Customs Department, Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Nepal Intermodal Transport Development visited the site. 

According to Gulariya Customs Office, the officials conducted a field study of the land on the Nepal side and bordering Indian town of Murtiha. 

“Adequate land is available for the dry port,” said Manoj BK, chief of the office, adding the dry port needs 35-40 bigas of land.

The site would be appropriate as it also has units of Nepal Police and Armed Police Force.

The Gulariya-Murtiha border point is closed although seven years have passed since Nepal and India agreed to open it. This has created difficulties for local traders and people import goods from bordering Indian town.

The two countries signed an agreement to open this route when the then prime minister Madhav Kumar Nepal visited India in 2009. During the visit, the two governments had signed an accord to open four other border points—Maheshpur, Thutibari, Sikta, Lukha and Murtiha—as well.

Four years ago, Indian authorities had informed Nepal that they had not been able to open the border point as Murtiha was located inside a national park and it was not ready to provide land to build necessary infrastructure.

At the same time, a team of businessmen from Gulariya and political party representatives had travelled to Lucknow and held talks with India’s border fee commissioner. The commissioner had agreed to open the route formally within six months, but it has not happened yet.

The plan was revived again during the visit of former Prime Minister Sushil Koirala to India. 

This time, Chief Minister of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav had directed the authorities concerned to begin the process to open the point as soon as possible. 

Subsequently, the Indian forest department had agreed to provide land to build necessary infrastructure. However, the plan did not move ahead due to the lack of interest from the Indian authority. 

Since the border crossing remains closed, traders are forced to bring goods through an alternate route of Rupaidiha in India resulting in higher transportation costs.

Published: 20-02-2017 09:16

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