Kathmandu, October 3
Nepal’s Ambassador to India Deep Kumar Upadhyay today said that the movement of vehicles from India to Nepal would ease from tomorrow.
Talking to this daily over phone, ambassador Upadhyay informed that trucks, containers and fuel tankers stranded at the Nepal-India border for the last 10 days would be able to enter Nepal from India without hassles starting tomorrow.
“Considering the difficulties facing Nepalis, essential commodities such as fuel, medicine, medical equipment, among others, will be dispatched first,” Ambassador Upadhyay who also intensified parleys with high-level government officials in India in the last two days, said. According to him, efforts are under way to facilitate vehicular movement along the border points.
As obstruction has resulted in short-supply of commodities, especially fuel, Indian authorities have also decided to facilitate the resumption of supply lines to Nepal.
The Ministry of External Affairs of India today issued a circular to the concerned line agencies and departments to help smoothen the movement of vehicles from India to Nepal owing to hardships faced by Nepali people due to short supply of essential commodities, according to a highly-placed source at MEA. “Supply will resume at all bordering transit points from tomorrow,” a source at MEA claimed.
Movement of vehicles from India to Nepal had been affected at all seven major trading routes linked with India for the last 10 days. Not a single vehicle has entered from Raxaul (Birgunj) and Jogbani (Biratnagar) in the last 10 days as protesting parties in Tarai staged sit-ins at the border points. But even the other checkpoints that were not affected due to the protest reported that only a handful of trucks and containers had entered Nepal from the Indian side.
According to a source, Indian officials have started permitting freight companies and transporters to ferry goods to Nepal as Nepal government has assured full security to the carriers entering Nepal.
The situation has gradually improved after the government and agitating parties initiated informal dialogue to settle the issues raised by agitating Tarai-based parties, at the earliest.
Since the Tarai-based parties began their protests over a month-and-a-half ago, the government has been providing escort to transporters on major highways. Reportedly the government had been repeatedly approaching the Indian government to send trucks, containers and fuel tankers to Nepal and assured them full-security along the border points.
The movement of vehicles today from Sunauli Customs Point of India to Bhairahawa in Nepal also supports the claim of the MEA source. A total of 140 trucks, containers and tankers — highest number in the last 10 days — with essential commodities and industrial raw materials entered Nepal. Only a handful of trucks and containers had managed to pass through all the checkpoints in the last 10 days.
According to Bhairahawa Customs Office, two bullets carrying liquefied petroleum gas (cooking fuel) and six fuel tankers also crossed over from India to Nepal today. The country has been reeling under severe fuel scarcity, causing the government to halt refuelling facility to private vehicles from Thursday. Even though it was initially announced the decision would be effective for three days, Nepal Oil Corporation announced yesterday that private vehicles would be allowed to purchase fuel only after the supply situation normalised.
Rae assures PM Koirala
KATHMANDU: Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae on Saturday met Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and discussed the supply of essential commodities, including petroleum products through border entry points. According to a press release issued by Prime Minister’s Press Adviser Prakash Adhikari, the PM told Rae to take initiative at the highest political level in India to ease the supply of essential goods and petroleum products. According to the release, Indian Ambassador Rae told the PM that supply of goods had become smooth from some entry points since Friday and would be normal in a few days. Rae also told Koirala that supply of goods would be eased through some other entry points by Sunday. He also told the PM that he was in touch with the top officials of Ministry of External Affairs and other concerned officials in India.
A version of this article appears in print on October 04, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.