Building activities hint reopening of TatopaniThe Tatopani transit point on the Nepal-China border may be reopened soon as the Chinese government has started reconstruction work in the area, officials said. The border crossing northeast of Kathmandu has been closed since the April 2015 earthquakes due to extensive damage to the infrastructure.
The Tatopani transit point on the Nepal-China border may be reopened soon as the Chinese government has started reconstruction work in the area, officials said. The border crossing northeast of Kathmandu has been closed since the April 2015 earthquakes due to extensive damage to the infrastructure.
The Chinese government has been holding discussions on reopening the border point, said Member of Parliament Agni Sapkota, following an interaction with Chinese authorities in Khasa, China on Monday.
Sapkota added that the Chinese delegation had said that the border point would remain closed until the necessary physical infrastructure had been reconstructed.
Raj Kumar Paudel, chairperson of Bhotekoshi Rural Municipality, said that the Chinese government had been working to construct infrastructure such as roads in Nyalam across the border in China. “It is also important to start the reconstruction work on the Nepal side.”
The Chinese government has kept the Tatopani border point closed for the last three years citing ‘security concerns’.
Chinese authorities have moved to construct a dry port in Larcha and a bridge connecting the port and repair Kodari Highway, Paudel said. He added that the Chinese government had targeted completing the entire project in a single package within a year and then hand it over to the Nepal government.
As the Chinese government has resumed construction activities at Larcha Dry Port, it shows that the Tatopani transit point will be reopened, he said.
The Chinese government has appointed Chinese Railway Construction Company to build the dry port which is slated to be completed in eight months. It had started work to build the Rs1.2 billion international standard dry port in Larcha five years ago, but the construction work stalled due to floods and landslides in Jure in August 2014, followed by the devastating earthquake in April 2015.
The bridge over the Bhotekoshi River near the dry port was also damaged by floods. Landslides in Jure also hit construction work, while work was completely abandoned after the earthquake.
The Chinese contractor will also upgrade Kodari Highway in four months after completing the dry port. Damaged and dilapidated structures are being repaired and new ones are also being built. Repairs are being done to the main office, customs office and yard, storage, check pass yard, check post, bank and residential buildings.
The Chinese government will also upgrade the road from Khasa to Friendship Bridge marking the border. The bridge connects Tatopani in Sindhupalchok with Khasa in Tibet, China.
Sapkota said that he had made inquiries with the central government about the utilisation of the Rs14.94 billion budget allocated for the upgradation of Araniko Highway and the Rs3 billion earmarked for the construction of the dry port.
“Once China completes the settlement process in Khasa and Nyalam, the border point is likely to be opened,” said Sapkota. He added that the Nepal government had signed an agreement with the Chinese government to develop check points, roads and other necessary infrastructure at the border point.