The dry port at Chobhar, Kathmandu, is all set to come into operation now.

All the basic infrastructure of the government-built dry port are ready, according to Nepal Intermodal Transport Development Board.

The port, which can house around 500 containers, has been built by the government to facilitate trade and traders in Kathmandu valley.

Built at a cost of over Rs 1.60 billion, the dry port has three buildings and godowns. "It will be brought into operation as soon as the dry port customs clearance section and containers are ready," said Executive Director of the committee Ashish Gajurel.

Once the dry port comes into operation, it is expected to maximise imports and facilitate exports, decrease investment costs and simplify trade in general. Gajurel added that there were three gates at the dry port, each exclusively slated for import, export and contingencies.

The construction process for the same had begun in 2018 in a total of 261 ropani land which also includes residence for the employees.

Shanxi-Ashish JV Company was awarded contract to build it.

The erstwhile prime minister KP Sharma Oli had laid the foundation stone for the dry port on 17 January 2019. "The construction of the dry port was supposed to be completed within 18 months. However, the construction process could not meet the deadline owing to the COVID-19 pandemic," according to the Board.

Meanwhile, the Board has been doing necessary homework to determine a modality in which the dry port can be operated. A committee has been formed under the coordination of the joint-secretary at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies in a bid to prepare a modus operandi of the first-ever dry port in Kathmandu valley.

"Vehicles ferrying containers do not have to wait in Birgunj for a long time as in the past for clearance of customs points once the dry port comes into operation," the Board said.

A version of this article appears in the print on September 4 2021, of The Himalayan Times.