Mustang locals want pact on Korala transit point signed during PM's China visit
MUSTANG: The Mustang folk have called for signing an agreement on operating the Korala transit point bordering the Tibet Autonomous Region of China during Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli's upcoming China visit.
The Mustang locals hope operation of the Korala transit point, closed since 2003 by Chinese side stating security reasons, would help facilitate bilateral trade and transit.
The inter-country trade fair in which the traders of six VDCS in Upper Mustang and Tibet use to participate has been affected due to the closure of the transit point. The fair which used to take place twice a year now takes place only once a year.
The Development Committee of the Legislature-Parliament two months back had directed the government to open the transit point at the earliest following an on-site study of the physical features and the condition of the road there.
Indra Dhara Bista, a social worker of Lomangthang, said that an agreement should be signed by the government at the highest level to open the transit point. "During PM Oli’s visit a concrete agreement should be signed regarding the opening of the transit point. We will do what is required for operating the transit point at local level" he added.
Although a dirt road has been constructed up to the transit point under the Kaligandaki corridor road, it is operational only for six months in a year. The road linking Korala needs to be upgraded along with bridges at different places on the route.
China has set up a security base camp near the border and already started surveillance by installing CC cameras.
"We should assure the Chinese side regarding security issues as well," Bista suggested.
Similarly, Khagendra Tulachan, president of the Mustang Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that it would be easier to import various Chinese goods and export Nepali goods once the Korala transit points comes into operation.
"Nepal need not depend only on one country for import and export once this transit point is brought into use. The Korala transit point is like a gateway to the development of the Western Region. We are also hopeful as diplomatic initiatives have been taken towards operating the transit point," he said.
Prime Minister Oli is embarking on a week-long official visit to the northern neighbour on March 20.