Tatopani border point reopens after three weeksThe border was closed on January 20 for the repair works on the Miteri bridge that links Nepal and China.
The Tatopani-Khasa border point, a major customs point along the Nepal-China border, came into operation on Tuesday.
Lal Bahadur Khatri, chief customs officer at the Tatopani Dry Port, said that the Chinese authority has allowed one-way traffic into the Nepali side.
“Cargo containers have started to enter Nepal now,” said Khatri. “Three Chinese cargo containers carrying fruits and readymade goods had entered Nepal by Tuesday afternoon.”
The Tatopani border was closed on January 20 for the repair works on the Miteri bridge, or friendship bridge, that links Nepal and China.
Bhotekoshi, which was flooded by torrential rains and water from a lake in Tibet's Nyalm area caused damage to the foundation and other structures of the Miteri bridge.
Raj Kumar Poudel, chairman of the Bhotekoshi rural municipality, said they were expecting China to keep the border closed for the next three weeks due to the Lhosar festival of the Tibetan community.
This year the Lhosar festival falls on February 12.
"The checkpoint has been partially opened. Local businessmen and workers have been affected as the border has remained closed for a long time,” said Poudel.
On Monday, the customs officials had said that despite the completion of the bridge repair works, the border would not be opened because of snowfall for the past few days on the Chinese side.
After remaining closed for about four years after the 2015 earthquakes, the Tatopani-Khasa border reopened on May 29, 2019. The border was again closed in January 2020 due to Covid-19 pandemic.
The Chinese side agreed to open the Tatopani-Khasa border in April last year, initially to hand over medicines and medical equipment for the Covid-19 pandemic, but cargo movements were negligible.
The Tatopani-Khasa border point, 115 kilometres from Kathmandu, has historically been one of the main land routes for trade with China. Traders have been saying that around 400 containers are still stuck on the two Chinese border points–the other being Rasuwagadhi-Kerung–for over a year now.