Birgunj Integrated Check Post likely to open April 5Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies Matrika Prasad Yadav directed authorities to launch the Integrated Check Post (ICP) in Birgunj on April 5 during an inspection visit to the facility on Monday. “As all the infrastructure is ready, we won’t have any problems operating the ICP from April 5,” he said.
Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies Matrika Prasad Yadav directed authorities to launch the Integrated Check Post (ICP) in Birgunj on April 5 during an inspection visit to the facility on Monday. “As all the infrastructure is ready, we won’t have any problems operating the ICP from April 5,” he said.
Minister Yadav told officials to open the ICP for business after holding talks with Nepali and Indian authorities. The ICP situated on the Nepal-India border was constructed with Indian assistance.
“As the Birgunj ICP is the first of its kind in Nepal, it will facilitate exports and imports and also aid in economic development,” he said. “The ICP will promote disciplined and modern trade.” Minister Yadav also inspected the premises of Sirsiya Dry Port and the portion of the ICP on the Indian side.
In 2005, Nepal and India reached an agreement to build ICPs at the border points of Biratnagar, Birgunj, Bhairahawa and Nepalgunj. Only the ICP in Birgunj has been completed so far. According to the accord, the Indian government will build the entire facility and hand it over to the government of Nepal.
The ICP provides services related to customs clearance and immigration under a single roof. It houses various facilities including warehouse, parking yard, office building, security yard, litigation shed, quarantine post and check post.
Last week, Indian authorities handed over the ICP in Birgunj to the Nepal Intermodal Transportation Development Board (NITDB). Indian ambassador to Nepal Manjeev Singh Puri said, “India handed over the ICP to Nepal last week, and there is no hurdle in operating it. Let Nepali and Indian authorities first do the homework to operate the ICP.”
He added, “Let’s have a trial run in the beginning, and then allow trucks and heavy cargo through this facility.” Puri said that the Birgunj ICP would improve relations between Nepal and India as Kolkata and Haldia ports are the nearest ports. Nepal imports most of the goods from third countries through Kolkata and Haldia ports.
The ICP in Birgunj is expected to prevent traffic jams and congestion at the Birgunj-Raxaul border point. Commerce Secretary Chandra Kumar Ghimire said that all necessary procedures to operate the ICP from April 5 had been completed.
Laxman Kumar Basnet, managing director of the NITDB, said, “In order to operate the ICP, the government needs to declare it as a customs area.
The decision of the Council of Ministers declaring it as a customs area should be published in the Nepal Gazette.”
Basnet said, “It will be difficult to make full use of the Birgunj ICP without constructing a six-lane road to the dry port. The 700-metre stretch is part of the Postal Highway.”
The ICPs at the Biratnagar-Jogbani, Bhairahawa-Sunauli and Nepalgunj-Rupaidiha border points are in various stages of construction.