India is building a third integrated check-post (ICP) in Nepalgunj at Nepal-India border. India has already built two ICPs in Birgunj-Raxaul and Biratnagar-Jogbani
India is building a third integrated check-post (ICP) in Nepalgunj at Nepal-India border. India has already built two ICPs in Birgunj-Raxaul and Biratnagar-Jogbani.
On Thursday, at an online ceremony, Piyush Goyal, Indian Minister for Commerce and Industry, and Krishna Gopal Shrestha, Nepal's Minister for Urban Development, jointly witnessed the ceremony to mark the beginning of the construction of the ICP at Nepalgunj.
The government of India is building ICPs on either side of the Indo-Nepal border to systematise the movement of cross-border cargo trucks between the two countries by bringing customs and immigration facilities under one roof.
The ICPs at Birgunj and Biratnagar were jointly inaugurated and operationalised in April
2018 and January 2020, respectively, by the Prime Ministers of India and Nepal.
The ICP at Nepalgunj, once completed, will have export and import cargo handling facilities such as warehousing, including refrigerated cargo facilities, medical, plant and animal quarantine areas, amenities for drivers and passengers, CCTV and other security systems, 24x7 power backup, waste-water treatment facilities, etc. to
facilitate smooth movement of cargo and passenger vehicles, according to the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu.
The facility is envisaged to promote systematic approach to cargo handling and, therefore, will result in saving time and inconvenience to visitors and reduce overall transaction costs for cross-border trade and commerce, the embassy said in a statement.
Though Nepal and China have just two trading points operational in Rasuwagadhi and Tatopani for bilateral trade, both trading points are hardly operational due to the Covid pandemic, China's increasing restrictions, difficult geographical terrain and poor infrastructure. This has compelled traders and importers to import goods from third countries via Indian points.
The project in Nepalgunj will be implemented by Rajdeep Buildcon Pvt Ltd, a Pune-based company, under the supervision of RITES International Ltd, a government of India undertaking.
The tendered cost of the project is Rs 147.12 cr (NRs 2354 million) and the construction period is two years.
The facility will be built on about 61.5 hectare land identified by the government of Nepal in Janaki Rural Municipality Ward No. 1 and Ward No. 16 of Nepalgunj sub-metropolitan city. Similar facility is being built on the Indian side in Rupaidiha by the Lands Ports Authority of India. The work on the facility started in May this year and over 10 per cent construction work has been completed.
Overall, the facility created under the project is envisaged to promote cross-border trade and economic activities between India and Nepal, the embassy has said.
In this context, Goyal announced that the government of India will take up the construction of a fourth ICP at Bhairahawa in Nepal under Indian funding. Presently, the execution modalities and implementing agency for the project are under consideration.
"The creation of advanced cross-border logistics and infrastructure facilities over the last three years is expected to further boost connectivity and help realise the shared pursuit of stronger and mutually beneficial trade, economic and people-to-people trade ties between India and Nepal," the embassy said.