India begins construction of access road to link proposed Dodhara Chandani dry portDry port will provide the shortest route to two key ports—Mundra Port in Gujarat, and Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Mumbai.
The construction of a Rs3.2 billion access road on the Indian side that links the proposed Dodhara Chandani dry port on the western border with India has started.
The access road project construction has been undertaken by the Indian government. India has also agreed to construct an Integrated Check Post on the border which would be connected to the dry port by a railway line.
The inland terminal will provide access to India’s largest seaport, Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Mumbai, and facilitate Nepal's foreign trade and lower its costs, officials said. Dodhara Chandani dry port will be the first business gateway to India from Nepal's far west.
The Intermodal Transport Development Committee under the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies has started a feasibility study at Mayapuri and Gaurishankar community forests as potential sites for the dry port.
The road segment is around four kilometres and it lies in the Champawat district of Uttarakhand, an Indian state.
The Indian authorities started felling trees on Saturday after getting permission from India’s forest department. The access road project is to be completed within a year and a half.
“As per the agreement, the Indian side will construct the dry port, unified check post and all the other infrastructure,” said Ashish Gajurel, executive director of Nepal Intermodal Transport Development Board. An Indian company has been working to complete the DPR within the next six months.
The Indian government has agreed to finish the construction of the access road as well as the dry port in the next three years.
Gajurel said they have requested the government to complete the process of acquiring 280 bighas of land at Mayapuri and Gauri Shankar Community Forest in Dodhara Chandani Municipality. The file has been sent to the Forest Ministry, he said.
The representatives of the Nepal Intermodal Transport Development Board and the Indian Embassy at Kathmandu have inspected the proposed site recently.
While the four-lane bridge over the Mahakali river has been built, the work for an eight-kilometre-long access road on Nepal’s side—from Gadda Chauki to Malaria Nala at Dodhara Chandani-1, has reached the final stage.
The dry port, once completed, will contribute to the industrial development in the western region by boosting the Indo-Nepal trade.
The dry port will provide the shortest route to two key ports—Mundra Port, India's largest private port in Gujarat, and the Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Mumbai. Transporting goods to Nepal through these routes will result in substantial savings, according to Nepali officials.
Most of Nepal's trade infrastructure is concentrated in the country's east to connect with Kolkata port, and the construction of a dry port in Sudurpaschim province may facilitate access to more ports in India in the future, said the officials.
The project is also expected to lower transportation costs and the time taken while importing the goods from India.
The World Bank conducted a feasibility study for the proposed dry port at Kanjabhoj in Dodhara Chandani Municipality a decade ago, and the Nepal Intermodal Transport Development Board prepared another report in 2016.