Fertilisers worth Rs6b stranded at Birgunj Dry PortFertilisers worth Rs6 billion have been stranded at Sisirya Dry Port in Birgunj following last two months due to the strikes in the Tarai region.
Fertilisers worth Rs6 billion have been stranded at Sisirya Dry Port in Birgunj following last two months due to the strikes in the Tarai region.
The fertilisers — 409,640 sacks of urea fertilisers worth Rs3.68 billion and 200,000 sacks of DAP worth Rs2.25 billion — were imported in mid-July 2015, according to Rajendra Bahadur Karki, head of regional Agriculture Office, Birjung. He said a rail rack which has 49,000 sacks of the fertilisers too has been stranded. With the godown full, officials have started storing imported goods outside the godown.
The dry port has limited storage capacity, but supplies from India’s Kolkata Port has continued. A rail scheduled to arrive from Kolkata on Wednesday is expected to bring an additional two racks of the fertilisers. Contractors importing fertilisers are likely to pay high demurrage charges in dollar terms for not being able to clear the stocks on time.
The Agriculture Inputs Company had imported fertilisers from international companies like Samsung and Swiss Singapore by issuing a global tender. Samsung has already supplied 35,000 metric tonnes of urea, while Swiss Singapore, which had won a tender to supply 55,000 metric tonnes of DAP, has far supplied 20,000 metric tonnes through the Kolkata Port.
According to Dry Port officials, due to the ongoing political turmoil, it has been difficult for suppliers to ship these products to districts having high demand. “Since the products have been under an open sky, we are worried they might get damaged if they are exposed to water (rainfall),” Karki said, adding since the paddy maturing period has ended, the fertilisers will be useful next year.
The political crisis in Tarai has significantly affected the national economy. According to the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), the loss the economy has incurred is uncountable as the strikes have paralysed each and every business sector.