India makes entry permits mandatoryIndia has made it mandatory for Nepali vehicles entering its territory to acquire entry permits.
India has made it mandatory for Nepali vehicles entering its territory to acquire entry permits.
Nepal too has been imposing such a provision for Indian vehicles crossing the border through the Birgunj customs point.
India’s Raxual Customs has said the provision has been implemented at 23 border points. Earlier, Nepali vehicles could enter India without acquiring such permits.
Officials at Raxual Customs said the provision was put in place to manage cross-border movement of the people and for security reasons. Lately, Birgunj has remained volatile due to confrontations between the cadres of agitating Madhesi parties and the police.
According to Kamalesh Kumar, additional commissioner at Raxual Customs, the provision would come into force from Monday.
“As per the new rule, Nepali vehicles can travel to up to 3km radius into the Indian territory from the entry point after receiving the one-day temporary pass,” he said. “For the vehicles to travel to India for more than a day, they have to take approval from the Indian Consulate General Office in Birgunj.”
The Indian move is expected to make the lives of the Nepali consumers harder who usually go to bordering Indian towns to purchase daily essential goods. “Cross-border movement has been difficult lately even when the main border point is open,” said Arun Chaudhary, a resident of Ranighat area here. “The provision of entry pass will complicate the situation.”
The provision has also worried traders based at Raxual, whose main customers are Nepalis.
They fear the provision will reduce the number of Nepalis travelling to the Indian town to purchase household items, readymade garments and kitchen wares.
Indian officials have said vehicles not honouring the new rule will be subjected to pay fine and the vehicle itself could be seized. The Indian authority has installed CCTV cameras in the bordering area to observe the movement of the people and vehicles.
Kumar said the vehicles have to enter India through main border point as arrangements have not been made to issue the entry permits through small customs points and rural areas. “A vehicle can travel to the bordering market and the railway station by acquiring the one-day pass,” said Kumar.
Information Officer at Raxual Customs Abhisek Kamal said the temporary entry permits would be made available free of cost. “While returning, the pass should be returned back to Indian officials at the entry point,” he said, adding they would keep the records of vehicles entering India.
Nepal too does not charge any fee for the one-day entry permits issued to of Indian vehicles. The vehicles have to pay certain fees if they wish to stay in Nepal for more than a day, depending on their types.