ICP Birgunj to be handed over soon

Kathmandu, July 30

The Integrated Check Post (ICP) Birgunj, which is being constructed under the grant assistance of the Indian government, will be handed over to Nepal within a week or two. According to Nepal Intermodal Transport Development Board (NITDB), which is the custodian of the ICP, it has been informed by the Indian embassy in Kathmandu that the ICP will be handed over shortly.

NITDB has to set up a few facilities to bring the ICP into operation. Parking facility, electricity grid connection and installation of optical fibre are required to bring the ICP into operation, according to Laxman Bahadur Basnet, executive director of NITDB.

A road of around 700 metres from ICP Birgunj to the Inland Clearance Depot (ICD) Birgunj — the country’s only rail-linked ICD — also needs to be constructed by the Nepal government. The construction of ICP Birgunj was initiated in 2010 and construction on the Indian side has already been completed a year back. Both sides have agreed to bring the ICP into operation simultaneously.

The ICP will house customs, quarantine, banks and immigration facilities, among others in one place to facilitate the country’s foreign trade.

Four ICPs including Birgunj are going to be constructed under the grant assistance of the government of India. In the first phase, ICPs are to be built in Birgunj of Nepal and Raxaul of India, and Biratnagar of Nepal and Jogbani of India.

The required land has been handed over to the concerned contractor for ICP construction in Biratnagar. A meeting of senior officials of Nepal and India was held in February this year in Kathmandu, which decided to complete construction of the ICP in Biratnagar by December 2018.

In the second phase, ICPs will be constructed in Bhairahawa of Nepal and Nautanwa of India, and Nepalgunj of Nepal and Rupadiya of India.