Construction of Dodhara Chadani dry port soon
Kathmandu, June 30
The government has finally taken the initiative to expedite the construction of a strategic dry port in the far western
region of Nepal.
The proposed Dodhara Chadani dry port located in Kanchanpur district of Province 7 had been stalled for a prolonged period due to lack of political commitment though the feasibility study was carried out long back.
Along with expansion of industrialisation in Uttaranchal of India and proximity of Nepal’s proposed dry port with railway line and Asian Highway on the Indian side, this infrastructure is expected to be a critical infrastructure for the far western region of Nepal.
Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies Matrika Prasad Yadav visited the proposed location last week and interacted with the provincial assembly members, locals, political leaders, local body representatives and other stakeholders to take the project forward.
Around 70 hectares of land will be acquired for the project in Kanchanbhog of Kanchanpur district, of which 20 hectares is government land and the remaining 50 hectares is private land.
Laxman Bahadur Basnet, executive director of Nepal Intermodal Transport Development Board (NITDB), said that the land acquisition process will be started from next fiscal, as the design of the project is currently being prepared by the Land Port Authority of India (LPIA).
The government believes that exports from Nepal could be cheaper through Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) at Mumbai as the JNPT is more cost-effective to export to Europe compared to Kolkata/Haldia port. Though Nepal’s export cargo is shipped from Kolkata/Haldia, all the cargo containers are trans-shipped from JNPT to the destination port.
As per Basnet, as Nepal plans to develop a railway linking the country’s east and west, the railway will be viable only if this rail line ferries Indian cargoes of north-east to the northern part of India via Nepal. “For the movement of Indian cargoes (India to India) via Nepal, the proposed dry port is critical,” said Basnet.
The dry port in Dodhara Chadani can be linked with Indian highway after construction of 4.3-km road on the Indian side. India has so far expanded broad-gauge railway line to Khatima, 13 km away from Nepal border, through which Nepal’s dry port at Dodhara Chadani can be linked through railway, and which will ultimately connect Nepal’s east-west railway with the Indian railway system. In this regard, it will be economical for Indian traders to supply goods to another part of India via Nepal.
The NITDB, that develops and manages dry ports and integrated check posts, has been coordinating with the Department of Railways to link the proposed dry port with the railway. When Nepal discussed about developing Dodhara Chadani port in far western region during the commerce secretary-level talks, the government of India had provided assurances of technical support for the project.