Kathmandu, May 3
There is clear sign of opening of Tatopani trade route – the popular trade route with northern neighbour China – in the near future, as the reconstruction works of China government-assisted Inland Clearance Depot (ICD) in Larcha will be concluded within a year.
Economic and Commercial Counsellor at the Embassy of China in Kathmandu Zhang Fan and Executive Director of Nepal Intermodal Transport Development Board Laxman Bahadur Basnet inked a pact today to take forward the implementation of the project under China-Aid Post Disaster Recovery of Tatopani Frontier Inspection Station Project.
Both parties have agreed to conclude the project within a year.
The ICD Larcha was ravaged by floods and earthquakes when the construction works were under way. ICD Larcha is China government-assisted turnkey project. For the reconstruction purpose, the government of China has awarded construction contract to the China Railway 14th Bureau Group, while Beijing Institute of Architectural Design has been hired as consultant of the project.
The reconstruction cost of the project is expected to hover around 147 million yuan, according to Fan. “We are planning to hand over the project to Nepal government by April.”
The earlier contractor Beijing Real Estate Development Group had vanished after the earthquakes inflicted severe damages to the structures built before the tremblors. The new project will also include the retention wall at the riverside.
The government of Nepal and China had signed minutes of meeting for the reconstruction of project on March 31, 2017. Following the signing of the minutes, the Chinese side had prioritised protecting the already-built structures. The rubble were cleared under the first phase of the project, which was titled ‘Emergency Rescue Project’ and was concluded in August 2017.
To take forward the reconstruction component of the project titled ‘Geological Disaster Management Project and Continued Construction’, letters were exchanged between the Ministry of Finance and the government of China on March 15 this year.
The MoF has provided relaxation in the construction materials and the equipment brought to rebuild ICD Larcha.
The ICD Larcha also includes the construction of a 6.6-km road from the Chinese border point to Larcha. However, the government has yet to sanction the right-of-way clearance for the road.
The ICD will include parking yard for 250 containers, customs office, immigration office, quarantine, bank and building for security forces. Though the Chinese side has taken the initiative to resume construction work of ICD at Larcha, Nepal government has yet to complete reconstruction of ravaged section of Araniko Highway – a popular trade route with China. Trade activities with northern neighbour via this route have been disconnected after the quakes, and traffic was diverted to Kyirong-Rasuwagadhi, another trade route with China.