Border checkpoint neglected

Rasuwa, March 4

At the Rasuwagadhi-Kerung point, the only trade and transit point between China and Nepal, stands a huge, majestic, cream-coloured structure and only a few metres away from it is a tent made of corrugated sheets and draped in a blue tarpaulin sheet. Atop the latter one, flies the Nepali flag.

The stark contrast between the first one, which is the immigration office of China, and the latter, which is the Nepal Police Office and check point, is one of shocking nature.

Man Bahadur Tamang, Chairman of Nepal-China Kerung Trade Association, says that Nepal’s fame in the international level is degrading because of the delay in the management of the trade point to China even two years after the quake.

The contrast does not end with the buildings. The vehicles on the Chinese side have to undergo security check through high-end equipment and customs’ clearance. The Chinese officials and security personnel wear smart and tidy uniforms, with no dust in sight on their clothes.

On the other hand, Nepal’s security personnel are compelled to stand on the roads while dust gathers on their uniforms. The Nepali side lacks essential  equipment at the transit point. Metal detectors, vehicle x-ray machine and  walk-through-gate are highly important to  control smuggling of contraband and gold across the border.

Sub-inspector Dhruba Shrestha says that  they have been conducting security clearance by observing and taking a look at the goods and containers.

International norms dictate that an administrative  structure should start with an immigration office followed by a customs  office and then a security post. However, Rasuwagadhi point has only a police  check post so far, with an immigration and customs office three  kilometres away in Timbure.

Chomendra Neupane, Chief District Officer of Rasuwa, confided that the problems lie with the management. “The proposed six-storey integrated building to house immigration, security offices at Rasuwagadhi has not been built because of the dispute surrounding the contractor company,” said Neupane.

In the Nepal Investment Summit, held on March 2 and 3, China has pledged investment worth $ 8 billion in various development projects in Nepal.