Nepal | November 27, 2020

Construction of ICP at Nepalgunj begins

Once completed, the check post will have export, import cargo handling facilities

Himalayan News Service
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Minister of Urban Development Krishna Gopal Shrestha and Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal jointly witnessed the ground-breaking ceremony to mark the beginning of the construction of integrated check post at Nepalgunj during an online ceremony today.

The Indian government is building ICPs on either side of the Indo-Nepal border to systematise the movement of cross-border cargo trucks between the two countries by bringing customs and immigration facilities under one roof.

ICPs at Birgunj and Biratnagar were jointly inaugurated and operationalised in April 2018 and January 2020, respectively, by the prime ministers of Nepal and India.

The ICP at Nepalgunj, once completed, will have export and import cargo handling facilities, such as warehousing, including refrigerated cargo facilities, medical, plant and animal quarantine areas, amenities for drivers and passengers, CCTV and other security systems, 24/7 power backup, and waste-water treatment facilities to facilitate smooth movement of cargo and passenger vehicles.

The facility will promote systematic approach to cargo handling, resulting in saving time and inconvenience to visitors and reducing overall transaction costs for cross-border trade and commerce.

The project will be implemented by Rajdeep Buildcon Pvt Ltd, a Punebased Indian company under the supervision of RITES International Ltd, an Indian government undertaking.

The tendered cost of the project is INR 1.47 billion (Rs 2.35 billion) and construction period is two years. The facility will be built on about 61.5 hectares of land identified by the Nepal government in Janaki Rural Municipality Ward-1 and Ward-16 of Nepalgunj Sub-metropolitan City.

A similar facility is being built on the Indian side in Rupaidiha by Lands Ports Authority of India and work on the facility started in May this year and over 10 per cent of construction work has been completed.

The Department of Urban Development, under the Ministry of Urban Development of Nepal, will facilitate construction of ICP in Nepalgunj on the ground.

During the construction period, the ICP Nepalgunj project is expected to create local employment and boost local economy by way of direct and indirect job creation and also supply of essential raw materials and items from local markets. Overall the facility created under the project is envisaged to promote cross-border trade and economic activities between India and Nepal.

“In line with ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, the Indian government is committed to enhancing connectivity with Nepal, including facilitating and promoting border trade and economic activities,” reads a media release issued by the Embassy of India. “In this context, Piyush Goyal announced that the government of India will take up the construction of a fourth ICP in Bhairahawa with Indian funding.”

Presently, the execution modalities and implementing agency for the project are under consideration.

Minister of State for Urban Development Rambir Manandhar and Indian Ambassador to Nepal Vinay Mohan Kwatra also witnessed today’s event. Mohammad Estiyak Rai, member of Parliament from Banke-2 and Dhawal Shamsher JB Rana, mayor of Nepalgunj Sub-metropolitan City, participated in the event with others from the Nepalgunj project site.

A version of this article appears in print on November 13, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.

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