Nepal, China to study Tatopani border

  • Move to revive customs office
- Post Report, Kathmandu
The project will build a border inspection building, cargo warehouse, litigation-warehouse, a parking lot with a capacity of accommodating at least 158 large containers and 33 cars

Sep 2, 2018-Nepal and China officials will inspect the infrastructure along Tatopani border before deciding to resume the customs office that stopped functioning after the earthquake in April 25, 2015.

Consul General Govinda Bahadur Karkee at the Consulate General of Nepal in Lhasha, China will liaise with the team comprising senior officials from the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, Finance Ministry, Ministry of Commerce and Supplies, and other government departments. The team will start the three-day study from Sunday.

The Chinese team will comprise technical staff that would recommend and help identify tasks the governments of Nepal and China would conduct jointly and separately. The move follows the agreement signed between Nepal Intermodal Transport Development Board (ITDB) and Agency for International Economic Co-operation under China’s Commerce Ministry on May 2018 to resume construction of the dry port in Tatopani.

ITDB Executive Director Laxman Bahadur Basnet told the Post, “Construction work of the dry port has picked up pace and we expect to complete it by May 2019. This encourages authorities from both countries to look at the possibilities of revitalising bilateral trade from Tatopani Customs as soon as possible.”

Around 50 percent construction work of the dry port that includes customs building, warehouse and parking is complete. At this rate the work will finish within the deadline, said Basnet.

The dry port spreads over 27.5 million square feet of land. The project includes parking bays for 200 lorries, agricultural quarantine and other infrastructure. The project will build a border inspection building, cargo warehouse, litigation-warehouse, a parking lot with a capacity of accommodating at least 158 large containers and 33 cars. China has funded RMB147 million for the purpose.

Construction of retention wall, the most difficult part of the dry port too has started. The project lies next to Bhote Koshi River posing a threat, especially during the monsoon season.

Construction of roads and bridges along the highway leading to the Friendship Bridge connecting the two nations pose a major challenge, said Basnet.

The Department of Roads Deputy Director General Shiva Prasad Nepal, who is also a part of the study, agrees the reconstruction and repair tasks of roads will be challenging. “Around three to four kilometres of the road near Friendship Bridge is not motorable.

“Apart from clearing landslides and soil erosion, nothing significant has been done in this section till date that is why the situation is complex,” said Shiva Prasad.

Two major bridges including Friendship Bridge too need reconstruction. Floods have affected the first and the second by the earthquake. Department of Roads Spokesperson Mukti Gautam said the road on the Chinese side is not up to the mark to facilitate bilateral trade.

 

Nepal, China officials to meet in Bahrabishe

KATHMANDU: Officials from Nepal and China will meet at Bahrabishe in Sindhupalchok on Sunday.

The team will head to Khasha (Zhangmu) walking through the Sino-Nepal Friendship bridge.

Chinese government has agreed to upgrade the road from Khasha to Friendship Bridge.

Nepali authorities will urge China to help construct the road on Nepal side and make it motorable. Closure of the only trading point between Nepal and China, until the Kerung took over after the earthquake, has made significant impact in the bilateral trade.

Authorities of both countries are keen to upgrade and maintain these customs offices to boost bilateral trade. (PR)

Published: 02-09-2018 07:21

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