‘Korala border point can be opened in three months’

Pokhara, December 4

A parliamentary team has concluded that it is possible open the Korala border point, which connects Mustang with China, within three months.

The Development Committee of Legislature Parliament reached the conclusion after completing a field study recently.

Chairman of the committee Rabindra Adhikary said it was possible to bring the border point into operation within three months if China’s security concerns was addressed.

China considers Korala border point very sensitive as religious leaders have been using the route to travel to India and other countries and the Khampa revolt in upper Mustang.

In 2003, import and export of goods through the border point halted after the Chinese side expressed reluctance to open the border despite bilateral agreement between the two countries.

Stating that some parts of the roads need to be upgraded, Adhikary said his committee would direct the concerned agencies to upgrade the roads. “There is a need to upgrade the road from Jomsom to upper Mustang,” Adhikary added.

According to Adhikary, the border, if brought into operation, would play a significant role in economic and cultural development of proposed Province No 4 as Mid-Hill Highway links Nawalparasi through Syangja’s Ramdi. He claimed that opening of the border would help integrated development of Lumbini, Pokhara and Muktinath.

A police post and Nechung Customs Office have been restored in upper Mustang to facilitate opening of the border. The Chinese side has set up a security camp on its side and heightened security surveillance.

Located at an altitude of 4,650 metres, Korala area receives snowfall three months a year.

Western Regional Development Regional Administrator Kedar Bahadur Adhikary said Nepal could attract millions of tourists if the border could be brought into operation.