Road clearance work begins to open Tatopani Customs Office

The April 25 quake had destroyed the road section badly

Sindhupalchowk, Sept 30

Work began from today to open the blocked Tatopani point bordering with China within five days in Sindhupalchowk.

Excavators and drill machines have been used to clear the debris. Road clearance work began after Sindhupalchowk DAO, security forces and members of Sindhupalchowk Chapter of Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) inspected the landslide-hit areas.

Sindhupalchowk CDO Balbhadra Giri said efforts were on to open the border point by clearing the landslip debris before Dashain. “The border can be opened in a week at maximum and in five days at minimum if adequate fuel is made available,” CDO Giri added. He said there was massive debris as a huge cliff had fallen and the topography was too difficult.

Giri informed that work had begun after agreeing to compensate the two houses which would be damaged during road clearance. A landslide about two weeks ago had disrupted around 100 metres of the road section on the Nepali side near Miteri Bridge.

Earlier, the landslide caused by the deadly quake of April 25 was cleared. Kami Sherpa, trader in Tatopani said that Chinese officials told him that Nepal government had shown apathy towards importing goods from China after the road was cleared.

The powerful quake of April 25 had destroyed roads and houses, completely at Liping Bazaar on the Nepali side near Nepal-China border. Some traders have started living at Tatopani and Kodari areas. They are mulling celebrating Dashain here itself if the border opens in these places.

A team of 25 members including Maoist Communist Centre Nepal’s Vice-chairman Tapta Bahadur Khatri, General Secretary Kesav Dahal and Secretary KP Gautam came here to launch a campaign to open the border.

UML-affiliated All Nepal National Free Students’ Union central leader Jenish Lama said that a team from his organisation would take the initiative to open the border point. Goods and commodities belonging to Nepali traders were stranded at the godown in Khasa. Around 400 heavy trucks stuck on the Chinese side were brought to Nepal two months after the deadly quake struck the country.

Three months after the deadly quake destroyed Tatopani Customs Office, Kathmandu-based Airport Customs Office had cleared customs duty of 400 heavy trucks laden with clothes and other goods. Tatopani Customs Office Chief Dibyaraj Paudel said that if the customs point could be opened before Dashain, goods could be imported for the festival.