Kathmandu, October 13
Construction works of the Inland Container Depot (ICD), popularly known as dry port, at Timure of Rasuwagadhi, will begin from October-end.
The Chinese contractor of the turn-key project, which is going to be constructed under Chinese government’s assistance, has pledged to start site mobilisation from the end of this month, according to Ravi Shanker Sainju, joint secretary at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies.
A meeting between the ministry, Nepal Intermodal Transport Development Board (NITDB) and the delegation of Chinese technicians will be held before beginning the construction works, according to Pramod Acharya, an engineer at NITDB.
Nepal and China had initially agreed to construct the dry port at Timure of Rasuwagadhi under Chinese assistance in 2014, and the deal was sealed in December 2015.
A Chinese state-owned company, Architectural Reconnaissance and Design Institute of the Tibet Autonomous Region (ARDITAR), has carried out the survey and detailed design of the ICD in Rasuwagadhi and Nepal Intermodal Transport Development Board has already acquired the necessary land.
The design of the ICD was finalised during the meeting between Nepali and Chinese officials held in Chengdu of China in mid-January of this year.
The minutes were signed by the head of the delegation of the Nepali side Laxman Bahadur Basnet, erstwhile executive director of NITDB, and Meng Naiqing, chief engineer of ARDITAR.
The government of China has highly prioritised Rasuwagadhi border crossing, which is the only trade route of Nepal with the northern neighbour after the closure of Tatopani check post following the devastating earthquake in 2015, which ravaged the check post and the road sections on both sides.
The dry port will be developed over 8.5 hectares of land. The NITDB has acquired five hectares of land occupied by Langtang National Park and 3.5 hectares from the general public.
The dry port will comprise integrated inspection building, accommodation building, cargo warehouse and parking lot, separate terminals for import and export, and flood protection levee. The contractor will also supply some office equipment and inspection equipment.
There will be parking area for 315 freight vehicles, 5,000-square-metre administrative building, a warehouse covering 750 square metres, two appraisal sheds of 2,080 square metres, boundary wall, water tank and other necessary infrastructure, as per the agreed design.
To be constructed under the assistance from the government of China, the cost of construction of ICD will be adjusted in official development assistance (ODA) to Nepal.
Kyirong (China) to Rasuwagadhi (Nepal) is a popular trade route with the northern neighbour, which will be linked with China’s railway project in the future. The distance between Rasuwagadhi and Kyirong is around 26 kilometres. The Chinese government has already started operating well-equipped customs services, including immigration services from Jilong border.
Nepal government has also prioritised upgrading the Syafrubesi-Trishuli road section to boost trade via this route.
A version of this article appears in print on October 14, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.