Pact resumes Tatopani port workNepal Intermodal Transport Development Board (NITDB) on Thursday signed an agreement to resume construction of the dry port in Tatopani.
Nepal Intermodal Transport Development Board (NITDB) on Thursday signed an agreement to resume construction of the dry port in Tatopani.
This pact raises hopes of early reopening of the Tatopani transit point on the Nepal-China border of Kathmandu.
NITDB Executive Director Laxman Bahadur Basnet and the Economic and Commercial Counsellor, Zhang Fan, of the Agency for International Economic Co-operation under China’s Commerce Ministry signed the agreement on China Aid Post-Disaster Recovery for Tatopani Frontier Inspection Station Project.
The pact gives the project, estimated at RMB147 million, a one-year timeframe. The earthquake in April 2015 had stalled construction of the dry port.
“The Chinese company will helm the construction work. It has planned all the aspects of the project,” Basnet said. Nepal government is only a facilitator in this project.
The new design of the project comprises retention wall apart from buildings and a bridge. “We requested them to construct retention wall as the dry port faces Bhote Koshi River the threat. The Chinese side complied,” said Basnet.
The dry port spreads over 27.5 million square feet of land. The project includes parking bays for 200 lorries, agricultural quarantine and other infrastructure. The project will build a border inspection building, cargo warehouse, litigation-warehouse, a parking lot with a capacity of accommodating at least 158 large containers and 33 cars.
The Chinese company plans to complete the project by April 2019 and hand over to Nepal government by May 20, 2019.
China government had appointed Chinese Railway Construction Company (CRCC) to build the dry port at Larcha near Tatopani five years ago.
The project deadline was two and a half year. Floods and landslides struck Jure in August 2014, and the earthquake in April 2015. These natural disasters stalled construction work.
Floods damaged the bridge over the Bhote Koshi that connects to the dry port. The project stopped after the earthquake.
The Chinese company will also upgrade Kodari Highway in four months after completing the dry port.
Though the two countries signed the agreement on Thursday, construction work started in the second week of April.
Construction crews are repairing the main office, customs office and yard, storage, check pass yard, check post, bank and residential buildings damaged by the earthquake.
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.
“The current development follows comprehensive discussions. Although there is no agreement on Tatopani border, the development depicts a positive outlook,” said Basnet.
Trade between Nepal and China continues via Kerung route following closure of Tatopani-Khasa border, post 2015 earthquake. The project will ease the surging trade between Nepal and China.