Jhapa, June 6

If you ever reach Jhapa’s Bhadrapur customs or the nearby Mechi Bridge, you can see a long queue of buffalo carts. Ferried from India’s Kolkata, Siliguri and Mumbai, the imports are loaded on buffalo carts at Galgaliya entry point in the Indian state of Bihar and then brought to Bhadrapur.

The plight of businesspersons has to do with lack of a motorable road. Though the bridge over the Mechi River was finally completed and came into operation a few months ago, the Indian side is yet to build a proper road along the around 400-metre long road linking up to the bridge.

“Earlier, we had a road but no bridge, now we have the bridge, but no road,” lamented draper Chaturbhuj Sharma of Bhadrapur Municipality, adding their hassle would end if the Indian side built a road on their side of the bridge.

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had inaugurated the bridge about four months ago. “The PM, while inaugurating the bridge, had said that he was hopeful that the road on the Indian side would soon be ready, citing his friendship with the Indian prime minister, but to no avail,” lamented a local.

Jhapa Chamber of Commerce and Industry General Secretary Pankaj Sharma also bemoaned the hassles the importers from Nepal faced, but said he was hopeful that the road would be ready soon. “I’ve heard that they’ve already prepared a DPR for the link road; now we’re waiting the road to be ready,” he said.