Nepali entrepreneurs discontented with ICP

Birgunj, June 2

The under-construction Nepal-India Integrated Check Point at Alau of Birgunj has fallen into controversy over its operation.

Nepali businesspersons and traders have expressed grave concerns as the neighbouring country is all set to bring it into operation from Friday unilaterally though they had an earlier understanding that they would be operating together with the Nepali side.

India is preparing to inaugurate the ICP from June 3.

The infrastructure of the checkpoint was constructed with financial aid from the government of India. All the Nepali stakeholders and custom office staffers are puzzled with the unilateral preparations to operate the ICP even as construction of infrastructure is under way.

With this, India’s customs office will be shifted to Alau-based Indian ICP premises, which is 13 km away from the existing office of Nepal’s Birgunj Customs.

Deepak Sinha, senior officer of India’s state owned consultancy, which was awarded the construction responsibility of the ICP structure, said that they were all set to begin service from their new infrastructure from tomorrow.

Pradeep Kumar Kedia of Birgunj Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said importers had to suffer a great ordeal due to the one-sided operation of the ICP.

S C Dash, general manager of K S Softnet Solution Samyukta, who was handed over the responsibility of constructing the ICP on the Nepali side, said that more than 70 per cent construction work was completed and the remaining work would be completed by October.