Nepal | September 29, 2020

Tatopani trade route opens temporarily

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, April 17

Altogether, 45 containers arrived at the yard of the Tatopani Customs Office today as the Chinese side started temporary operation of Zhangmu Port at Tatopani border after a year of the massive April 25 earthquake.

Around 300 containers of goods were stuck at the warehouse in Khasa located 14 kilometres from Nepal border since the devastating earthquake last year, according to Krishna Shrestha, first vice president of Nepal Trans Himalaya Border Trade Association.

But the customs office at Tatopani is yet to start the process of clearance as traders have yet to complete the process of submitting bank documents and other necessary details.

“Traders who have used letter of credit as mode of payment have to submit the related documents from the bank,” said Dibya Raj Pokharel, chief at Tatopani Customs Office.

Goods imported by Nepali traders were stuck at Khasa since long because the government of China had suspended operations citing the possible hazards of landslides due to the frequent temblors. The condition of the section of the Tatopani trade route close to the China border is still not good.

The road sections that had been damaged by landslides have been opened as ‘track’ road after the earthquake. Some road sections in China side near the Nepal border were also damaged during the earthquakes of April and May last year. “The Chinese side has brought the port into operation temporarily to clear the Nepal-bound cargoes,” said Shrestha.

It is not certain from when the Chinese side will bring the port into full-fledged operation after clearing the Nepal bound cargoes that have been stuck at Khasa. Tatopani is a popular route for trade with the northern neighbour, but after the earthquake the Chinese side has not accorded priority to reopen this trade route. However, Nepal has been repeatedly requesting China to open the trade route at the earliest.

A version of this article appears in print on January 08, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.

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