Displaced sub-customs offices yet to be reinstated

Ilam, November 20

Sub-customs offices in Ilam that had been displaced during the decade-long Maoist insurgency have not been reinstated as yet, resulting in heavy revenue leakages.

Traders are reportedly exploiting the open border which remains vulnerable to smuggling activities.

Sub-customs offices at Memeng, Chyangthapu, Chiruwa, Banduke, Maimjhuwa and Chabbise had been displaced during the insurgency-era.

Among the other formerly displaced sub-customs offices in the same time period, Manebhanjyang and Tumling are amongst the few that have been restored, Pashupatinagar Customs Office said.

The failure to restore the customs offices has consequently resulted in an increase in theft and smuggling of ready-made garments, construction materials, electronic gadgets, machinery parts, and petroleum products across the southern border.

The smuggled materials are supplied overnight to Ilam, Panchthar and Taplejung.

There are more than 300 dirt roads linking Nepal from India along this stretch of the southern border which are regularly tapped by traders to evade customs.

The authorities are unable to control the revenue leakage as smugglers use these routes mostly during the night time.