Nepal-India trade via Biratnagar comes to haltExports and imports from Nepal-India border-point in Biratnagar have come to a grinding halt due to delay made by Indian authorities in issuing re-routing permits to cargo vehicles stranded in India.
Exports and imports from Nepal-India border-point in Biratnagar have come to a grinding halt due to delay made by Indian authorities in issuing re-routing permits to cargo vehicles stranded in India.
Nepal was previously allowed to use Bhimnagar-Bhantabari small customs checkpoint to ferry goods to and from India after a bridge and a railway track linking Biratnagar-Jogbani customs point were damaged by recent floods.
The Customs Office in Patna has given a go-ahead signal to use the alternative route. But the decision made by the customs office has not been implemented till date. As a result, Nepal has not been import or export anything from this route for the last six days. “The entire procedure for the re-routing has been completed,” Krishna Bahadur Basnet, chief of the Biratnagar Customs Office, said.
“However, we haven’t heard anything from Indian authorities.”
Recent flooding had damaged a bridge in Mirjungghat and railway track in Jogwani in India. Following the damage caused to the infrastructure, cargo vehicles have not been able to enter Nepal via Biratnagar-Jogbani customs point, one of the main entry points at Nepal-India border in the eastern region.
The Biratnagar-Jogbani customs point is primarily used to import industrial raw materials for the Sunsari-Morang Industrial Corridor. The finished products are then exported using the same customs point. But because of closure of the cross-border trading route, raw materials have been stranded in India for the last few days.
The halt in imports of raw materials has severely affected manufacturing units located at the industrial corridor and are facing the risk of temporary closure.
To resolve this problem, Indian authorities had agreed to allow cargo trucks to re-route and enter Nepal through Bhimnagar-Bhantabari small customs checkpoint, Morang Industry Association and Morang Merchant Association said in a statement on Wednesday.
But Bijendra Parasar, president of the Biratnagar Customs Agent Association, said none of the loaded truck or container has entered Nepal in the last one week.
Indian authorities have said it would take another two weeks to renovate the bridge at Mirjungghat and up to a month to repair the railway track damaged by the flood.