Thori area thrives amid blockadeThori-Bhikhana area in the district used to be the busiest point in the Nepal-India border, with huge import of salt and other daily essentials, when there were no proper road networks in the country.
Thori-Bhikhana area in the district used to be the busiest point in the Nepal-India border, with huge import of salt and other daily essentials, when there were no proper road networks in the country.
However, after the development of Raxaul-Amlekhgunj railways and construction of Tribhuvan Highway, the area remained almost deserted.
Although there was no flow of cross-border traffic in Birgunj in the 84 days due to Tarai banda and Indian blockade, Thori has once again become a commercial hub. Local teacher Prem Lama said many people travel to Thori area for business purpose these days. “The normal movement has increased due to the ease of fuel supply and daily essentials,” he said, adding that the Indian nationals used Thori area only as a picnic spot in the past.
Stating that Thori area has been converted as an open market, Pushkar Pokharel, a local resident, said if the area is developed in future, the whole country can be benefited. The area has a small customs office for the past three years.
The Tarai protests did not affect the area at all as it has a sizable population of Hill origin people. Indian nationals themselves are bringing daily essentials in Thori bazaar.
Following the Indian blockade, people from Kathmandu, Chitwan, Makawanpur, Gorkha, Nuwakot, Sindhupalckowk, Kavre, Dhading, Baglung, Gulmi, Kaski, Tanahun and several other districts are visiting the area for refilling their vehicles and buying daily essentials.
Hundreds of motorcycles, around 500 pick-up vans and two dozens of trucks reach Thori bazaar on a daily basis. It is learnt that around 150,000 liters of petroleum products and around 3,000 cooking gas cylinders enter Nepal every day.
Thori is about 60 kilometers from Birgunj and around 80 kilometers from Narayanghat in Chitwan. Despite having access to roads and rail network on the Indian side, it is only one VDC in Parsa lacking permanent roads and electricity in villages.