Print Edition - 2017-06-02  |  Money Digest

Work on Larcha dry port to resume post monsoon

- Post Report, Kathmandu
The port in Larcha is the only dry port on Nepal-China border

Jun 2, 2017-

Construction on the dry port in Larcha, near Tatopani is set to resume after the monsoon. The government made the announcement after the Chinese side agreed to restart the second-phase construction after the monsoon. Construction had been at a standstill after the Bhotekoshi flood swept away the bridge in 2014.

The port in Larcha is the only dry port on Nepal-China border. The Ministry of Commerce said that the Chinese side would start constructing concrete structure on the land that is situated between the dry port area and Bhotekoshi River. 

The northern neighbour had been reluctant on resuming bilateral trade through Tatopani customs point. However, the government officials said that resumption of construction work of Larcha dry port could be taken as a positive indication.

China’s Beijing Real Estate Group Company was awarded the project contract on May 17, 2012. It started the works in early 2014. The Chinese government provided necessary funding and technical assistance for the project. The project was originally slated to be completed in 26 months. 

The government so far has spent Rs2 billion provided by China in grant for construction of the dry port. Commerce Minister Romi Gauchan Thakali said that the Chinese side had agreed to resume the construction work at dry port. According to him, currently the Chinese construction company has been working on preventing landslide in the nearby area of the dry port. 

Laxman Bahadur Basnet, executive director of Nepal Intermodal Transport Development Committee, said the Chinese side plan to carry out the construction work in three phases—rescue, protection and resume. “The rescue work incorporates protecting the project side from the possible landslides during this monsoon,” said Basnet, adding that 25 percent of the rescue work had been completed. According to him, a total of RMB9.1 million has been invested till now. 

Basnet said the Chinese side has assured the Nepal government to construct the retention wall encircling the project side after the rainy season. “In the third phase, they will be resuming construction of the dry port,” he said. In 2012, China signed an agreement with Nepal to build the dry port. 

The estimated cost of project was Rs1.2 billion. The dry port that expands in an area of 27.5 million square feet of land was expected to provide space for parking for up to 200 trucks, agricultural quarantine and among others. Under the project, a border inspection building, cargo warehouse, litigation-warehouse, a parking lot with a capacity of accommodating at least 158 big containers and 33 cars and a 112-metre-long bridge over the Bhotekoshi River will be constructed. China had also agreed to upgrade a 6.5 km road connecting the dry port to the border with China. 

The construction project is expected to ease the bottleneck for surging trade between China and Nepal.

Published: 02-06-2017 08:31

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