Nepal-India integrated check-post in limbo

Birgunj, August 4

The under construction Nepal-India integrated check Post has been left in limbo after the southern neighbour started operating unilaterally on its side since the first week of June.

A large number of stakeholders have questioned its effectiveness. Though India started operating it on its side unilaterally, it has been confined to formality only. As per Birgunj Customs Office, the Indian side takes only a negligible number of vehicles to the ICP once or twice a week just for formality.

Birgunj Chambers of Commerce and Industries Chairperson Pradeep Kumar Kedia said that the operation and effectiveness of ICP had come under question with the unilateral operating system from the Indian side. He also said that import of petroleum, coal and raw materials would create problem as there was no storage facilities for these items at the ICP.

There is an Indian Oil Corporation depot in Raxaul, but there is no direct road connection from Raxaul to the ICP, which is only 13 kilometres away. The government had declared it would bring this ICP into operation from this fiscal during the budget speech.

However, the Federation has urged the concerned authority not to operate those ICPs until both are ready. The importers also have demanded easy road access from Raxaul to the ICP. “We have to face around 8 hours vehicular jam at the railway crossing every day,” regretted importers.