Construction of integrated check post in limbo for years

– Kashiram Sharma
Banke, December 18 : A project regarding the construction of an integrated check post (ICP) at Nepalgunj (Banke), the major trade point in the western Tarai is in limbo for years and the Indian side is blamed for it.
The construction site based in Jayaspur of Nepalgunj submetropolis-16 has turned into a pasture land as the project is yet to be implemented in full-swing.
The existing structures on the project site have already started to crumble in the absence of proper protection.
The Ministry of Urban Development, the Government of Nepal, has been assigned the responsibility of dealing with the land acquisition issues and constructing outer infrastructure, and the Building Division Office, Banke, the Ministry of Urban Development has already achieved some progress on it. However, the Indian side allocated the task to build big infrastructure is yet to start its works.
Office Engineer Homnath Bhusal said that it seemed that the project was not in the priority of the Indian side.
The government has been doling out budget for repairing the structures over and again. Budget has been spent over construction of security barrack, fencing, gravelling the roads and installation of blocks on the roads among others.
The Indian government has been carrying out the construction of Integrated Check Post (ICP) in various phases in all the major checkpoints with Nepal. The stakeholders in Nepalgunj are concerned that the construction of ICP has not progressed much in last ten years.
The ICP is expected facilitate in the export and import of goods.
Nepalgunj Chamber of Commerce President Nandalal Baishya shared that the local entrepreneurs and business persons were facing issues of various sorts in lack of ICP. He said, “It is a pity that the construction of ICP has been stagnant for a decade. The government should take it into serious consideration.”
A Steering Committee has been formed to resolve the obstructions and glitches surrounding the construction and operation of the ICP. In lack of ICP, the big containers and vehicles ferrying the goods were being parked alongside the roads, further causing inconvenience to the service providers and security of India. If it was in the priority, it would have come into operation earlier.
Customs checking of both countries would be carried out at the same place after the construction of ICP. It would be easier to the traders after all offices start providing their services from the same place, the ICP.
There would be different offices including Livestock Quarantine, Immigration, Bank counter, Food Technology, Plant Quarantine along with Customs Office at the dry port premises.
Although an agreement was reached in order to construct physical infrastructures required at the ICP premises by India, the Government of Nepal itself has constructed security post and purchased land required for this.
The government had acquired around 90 bighas of land in the fiscal year 2065/66 BS and has been distributing compensation to the land owners.  RSS

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