Kathmandu, May 20
The shortest route to the only trade route currently in operation between Nepal and China — Rasuwagadhi-Kerung border point — has opened with the Nepali Army completing the track opening of the Mailung-Syaphrubeshi road section.
Defence Minister Ishwor Pokhrel inaugurated the road section, a national priority project, today. The Nepali Army also handed over the road section to the chief of Galchhi-Trishuli-Mailung-Syaphrubeshi-Rasuwagadhi Subodh Kumar Devkota.
With the inauguration of the road, the distance from Galchhi to Rasuwagadhi has been shortened by around 25 km. Previously, one travelling to Rasuwagadhi from Galchhi had to go via Betrawati and Dhunchhe. The road also connects the northern border point of the Rasuwagadhi-Kerung to the southern border point of Thori, Chitwan.
“The Mailung-Syaphrubeshi road section has less number of bends compared to the Betrawati-Dhunchhe- Syaphrubeshi section, making it easier for vehicles. It is also safer as it has better gradient,” read the NA statement.
The Department of Road said it would soon begin the process of blacktopping the road section. DoR Spokesperson Mukti Gautam said the DPR for the same was almost completed and the process of issuing tender for blacktopping would begin after two months.
“The main benefit of this road is increased safety and reduced length, which will substantially cut travel cost. The benefit definitely will be passed on to the end consumers who will receive goods at cheaper rates,” said Gautam.
The construction of the road section, which was inaugurated by then Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat on January 23, 2015, began on April 4, 2015. Initially, the Nepali Army was assigned to construct a single-lane 7-km road, but after the April 25 earthquake, it was asked to build a double-lane road and the length was also increased by 10 km, according to a statement issued by the NA.
The event was attended by Defence Minister Pokhrel, Minister of Physical Infrastructure and Transport Raghubir Mahaseth, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari, Nepali Army Chief of Army Staff Rajendra Chhetri, and Rasuwa lawmaker Mohan Acharya.
A version of this article appears in print on May 21, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.