KATHMANDU, JANUARY 21
The Tatopani checkpoint, where movement has been affected time and again, has been closed again starting from today. Citing the renovation of Miteri Bridge, the Chinese government has announced that the border will remain closed for the next three weeks.
Following the earthquakes in 2015, the operation of Tatopani checkpoint has been rather sporadic. This in turn has created a major headache for workers, locals and traders who import goods from China. It is to be noted that the Chinese authorities started clearing goods bound for Nepal through the border on a regular basis just two weeks ago.
Chief Customs Officer at Tatopani Dry Port and Customs Office, Lal Bahadur Khatri informed that the checkpoint has been closed again from today. According to him, the Chinese side has closed the checkpoint for regular maintenance.
Only one-way traffic was being allowed through the bridge citing problem in its foundation. The Miteri Bridge, which was destroyed by the Gorkha earthquake and Bhotekoshi floods, had been earlier repaired by Chinese company, Tain Sun Road and Bridge Company.
However, after Bhotekoshi River caused some damage to the foundation of the bridge again, a notice has been issued regarding closure of the checkpoint.
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.
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.