Entrepreneurs call to ease transport via India

Kathmandu, September 3:

National Federation of Transport Entrepreneurs (NFTE) today urged Foreign Minister Upendra Yadav to negotiate with India for temporary multi-pass permits to Nepali transport entrepreneurs crossing the Nepal-India border due to the cut-off of the highway in Sunsari.

The entrepreneurs brought up the issue to ease transportation in the eastern region after Koshi flood destroyed approximately 10 km section of the East-West highway from Koshi Barrage to Lauki, leaving Mechi and Koshi zones of the country out of road connection from the rest of the country.

Saroj Sitaula, president of National Federation of Transport Entrepreneurs, said the vehicles

had been taking 600-km Indian route to come to Birgunj from Biratnagar via Jogbani and Raxaul of India.

Sitaula said that minister Yadav assured the transportation entrepreneurs of negotiating the issue with the Indian government. The issue was even forwarded to the Foreign Minister before his visit to India.

According to the entrepreneurs, each time a vehicle has to enter India, a permit from the Embassy of India is required.

One permit costs Rs 2,500 and entrepreneurs need to put Rs 50,000 deposit. Sitaula said

the system was too impractical in the present context of natural calamity.

“Considering the situation of crisis, the government should to negotiate with its Indian counterparts to come up with temporary and simple provision of issuing the pass for multiple entries,” Sitaula said.

The transport entrepreneurs added that if the situation persisted for long then the eastern region might face severe shortage of essentials ahead of the Dashain festival.