Biratnagar ICP to start operation from today

Kathmandu, January 10

Nepal’s second integrated check post (ICP) in Biratnagar is set to start operation from Tuesday.

Following official handover of the ICP to Nepal by the Indian government, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi are set to inaugurate the ICP by pressing a switch from their respective offices in Kathmandu and New Delhi.

As the infrastructure of the ICP in both Nepali and Indian sides have been completed, executive heads of the two nations are scheduled to inaugurate the project together on Tuesday, informed Nabaraj Dhakal, spokesperson for the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies (MoICS).

The ICP in Biratnagar will offer an effective platform for traders for trade logistics.

It will be equipped with customs, immigration, quarantine, banks, warehouse, litigation shed and parking that are required for the clearance of goods and movement of people from a single location, thereby reducing trading cost for traders.

Indian contractor Dineshchandra R Agrawal Infracon Ltd constructed the ICP at almost Rs 2.1 billion.

The construction of the integrated check post in Biratnagar started in 2016 after the government handed over the necessary land to the Indian authority.

Spread over 129 bighas of land, the Biratnagar ICP also has a cargo building, terminal building, CCTV, restaurants and banks, and will offer currency exchange service, cold storage, among other facilities.

The Biratnagar ICP will be operated by Himalayan Terminal Ltd for the first six months. Thereafter, the government plans to announce a global tender for the ICP’s operation.

The country’s first ICP in Birgunj had come into operation in March of 2018.

The Indian government has extended grant assistance for construction of four ICPs, including in Birgunj and Biratnagar. The additional ICPs have been proposed at other major checkpoints on the Nepal-India border crossings, namely Bhairahawa and Nepalgunj.

Nepal and India had signed a memorandum of understanding in 2005 for the construction of the ICPs at the four points along the Nepal-India border. In the first phase, the construction of ICPs at Raxaul-Birgunj as well as Jogbani-Biratnagar was taken up.