Private company to manage, operate Inland Clearance Depot in Birgunj

KATHMANDU: A private company has been awarded the contract to manage and operate the Inland Clearance Depot (ICD) in Sirsiya, Birgunj.

Pristine Valley Dryport Pvt Ltd will be managing and operating the Birgunj-based ICD from now on, stated a press note. Since its inception till date, the port was managed and handled by Indian Government’s entity CONCOR through it’s local counterpart Himalayan Terminals Pvt Ltd.

H M Shahi, Director of Nepal Intermodal Transport Development Board, the regulatory authority of Dryports in Nepal said that in the 16 years of establishment and operation, for the first time the management of this dry port has been transferred to a fully private venture. They are hopeful that the trade will benefit with this new development that has taken place in Nepal’s only rail linked terminal which handles more than 50 percent of containerised traffic of the country.

The new management took over the operation and management of the dryport at a special function organised within the port premises at Sirsiya, Birgunj on Friday, reads the statement. Birgunj Inland Dry Port was constructed between 2000 and 2004 AD and came into operation thereafter. Established in 38 hectares of property, the port has a storage capacity to manage over 4,500 containers and is rail linked with Raxaul in India connecting to harbours in Kolkata and Vishakapatnam via Indian Railways network.

Indian stakeholder of Pristine Valley Dry Port Pvt Ltd, ‘Pristine Mega Logistics Pvt Ltd’ and its network is managing ICDs in Ludhiana, Kanpur, Siliguri, Patna through their own 35 container railways. The company has over 10 years of intensive experience in managing and handling ICDs in India and have entered the international market for the first time.

Nepali Counterpart ‘Valley Terminals’ is a sister company of ‘Valley Group’ which works in the logistic sector. Valley group, established 40 years ago, is a business conglomerate with diversified businesses in poultry and related products, fast food, automobile, construction material manufacturing, information technology, infrastructure, among others.

The Directors of Terminal Management Company, Pristine Valley Dryport Pvt Ltd mentioned that they want to use this venture to bring transformation and change in customer experience through efficiency upgradation and capacity building at the dryport.

The transfer of management took place during Covid-19 pandemic and the company is expected to face piles of challenges with no definite end of the crisis visible, said Madhav Baral, Director of the Nepali counterpart company of the venture. He further said that the port is only handling 35 per cent of its total capacity due to the widespread of coronavirus, and that downward trend on export and import will continue. He also added that the group will work on expansion of the port by attracting the road networked imports and export to the dry port and improving the existing in-country transportation services.

The management team stated that they are confident in implementing the company's experience and knowledge in Birgunj ICD to enhance the services and to expand the existing capacity of the port and that the venture will take a new height in the upcoming days.