Nepal envoy takes up freight delays with India

Kathmandu, October 5

Nepal’s Ambassador to India Deep Kumar Upadhayay today urged Indian authorities to help ease the flow of essential supplies immediately, saying that Nepal was facing a humanitarian crisis due to crunch of essential commodities, including fuel.

Ambassador Upadhayay told THT over phone from New Delhi that in a meeting with chief of North Desk at the Ministry of External Affairs Abhaya Thakur in New Delhi, he told the Indian side: “India is the sole supplier of petroleum products to Nepal. We are serious about resolving this stand-off and continuing our agreement with India.

According to him, MEA Joint-Secretary Thakur said New Delhi was concerned about the difficulties being faced by Nepali people due to delay in freight movement across the Indo-Nepal border. He, however, said the ongoing protest at the border checkpoints was responsible for the delay in cargo supplies.

Ambassador Upadhayay also urged the Indian side to give priority to easing medical supplies. “Our hospitals are running out of oxygen and medicine. Schools have been closed,” he told the MEA official. “India is our only lifeline,” he said.

Ambassador Upadhayay said clearing the freights at Birgunj-Raxaul checkpoint was important, as over 60 per cent of petroleum supplies were transported through this route alone.

According to Indian sources, the supply from Birgunj-Raxaul checkpoint is expected to ease from tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae today called on Nepali Congress leader Ramchandra Paudel at the latter’s residence in Kathmandu. Paudel appealed to the envoy to facilitate the easing of essential supplies from the Indian side as soon as possible.