KATHMANDU, FEBRUARY 15
Both Rasuwagadhi and Tatopani checkpoints connected with China have been closed once again.
According to the Department of Customs (DoC), the two trading points between Nepal and China have been closed after Chinese customs yard workers went on holiday for the Lunar New Year.
As per the department, even the limited import from the Rasuwagadhi checkpoint, which has not been fully operational for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has been halted since Thursday (February 11). As the Chinese workers have gone for New Year's holiday, imports have been halted completely.
Prior to this, the Chinese side had resumed operations of the checkpoint allowing passage for just five containers per day.
After the lockdown was lifted in China, Rasuwagadhi checkpoint had been operating partially since October 29.
Similarly, the Tatopani checkpoint has also been closed due to the New Year's holiday. The department has stated that imports have been halted from this checkpoint since Friday as all the Chinese businessmen and workers at the checkpoint are on holiday for the Lunar New Year.
As stated by the department, the Chinese authority has informed that the checkpoints could remain closed for next 10 days.
Most of the business people who import goods from China have been affected due to unreliability of the checkpoint operations.
Earlier, citing the threat of COVID-19, Chinese authorities had restricted all types of movement across the border.
And just a few days back, the Tatopani checkpoint had halted operations for maintenance.
Even though Chinese authorities opened the border briefly a few times, not all goods could be brought in. Consequently, prices of products, especially those imported from China, have shot through the roof.
Earlier, a huge volume of goods destined for Nepal was stuck at the Chinese checkpoints due to restrictions in movement along the northern border.
A version of this article appears in the print on February 16, 2021, of The Himalayan Times