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Government acquires land for integrated check post in Nepal
Publication Date : 11-02-2013
The Nepali government has finally acquired land in the southeastern city of Biratnagar to build an integrated check post (ICP). The acquisition was delayed for two years leading the Indian government, under whose donation the ICP is being constructed, to fall behind schedule in their plans.
The ICP located on the Nepal-India border will house regulatory agencies such as immigration, customs, border security and quarantine services along with other facilities including currency exchange, Internet access, as well as a cafeteria. And there will be a matching complex on the Indian side.
As per an agreement signed with India, it will construct the ICP with its own resources and Nepal will provide the required land. Construction is to be completed within two years after Nepal makes the land available. Rosan Shrestha, chief of Nepal's Urban Development and Building Construction Division Office, said the government had started the paperwork to hand over the plot to India. The estimated cost of the proposed ICP is 1.31 billion Nepalese rupees (US$14.1 million). Land acquisition for the project had been delayed by a dispute over compensation. The government has paid about 140 million Nepalese rupees as compensation to the landowners. Meanwhile, about 50 per cent of the construction work has been completed on the other side of the border.
Shrestha said that the government had acquired another plot for 170 million Nepalese rupees to build a road connecting the check post to the national highway. “We are behind schedule, but it is expected that construction of the ICP will be completed within the next two years,” added Shrestha.
Traders in eastern Nepal have been routing imports from third countries through the roundabout Raxaul border point, in Bihar, India. “After the ICP is built in Biratnagar, it will not only ease exports and imports but also reduce the costs of trade,” said Abinas Bohora of the Morang Merchant Association.
*US$1=84.8 Nepalese rupees