Prompt actions can open Nepal-China border points: House panel

KATHMANDU: As the country is reeling under a shortage of essential owing to the Indian blockade, Nepal's four border points with China that are obstructed due to various reasons including April 25 earthquake could come into operation if the government took prompt initiatives and showed readiness for proper investment in this regard, a report made by the Development Committee under the Legislature-Parliament suggested.

Recently, the Committee carried out a technical study on the possibility of opening blocked four border points with China, including Korala of Mustang, Tatopani of Sindhupalchok, Rasuwagadhi of Rasuwa and Olangchungola of Taplejung, in an effort to resume the border points for the import of consumables from the northern neighbour.

The report said that the Korala point could resume within three months if the process to repair the damaged road started soon. Around 100-kilometre Jomsom-Korala road suffered extensive damages and it needed to be repaired for its operation, the report said.

Officials of both Nepal and China on December 3, 2003 have also agreed to open the border point while the China government has pledged to upgrade Pokhara-Jomsom and Jomsom-Korala roads.

Around Rs 10 billion is estimated to blacktop and upgrade Beni-Mustang and Jomsom-Korala road.

Likewise, the government is preparing to open Kimanthangka border point with China within two years. A road construction project is underway to open the border.

Of the 162-kilometre trail leading to the border point, works along the 80-kilometre track has been completed, it has been learnt.

Meanwhile, Rabindra Adhikari, Chairpersons of the Committee, said that India could also benefit from Nepal's efforts to open its border points with China and vice-versa.