Thursday, May 17, 2012

Larcha dry port to be ready in two years

The government today signed an agreement with China for the construction of the much-awaited Larcha dry port in Tatopani, the main customs point for trade with China.
Nepal Intermodal Transport Development Board will undertake all the necessary work for the construction of the dry port from the government's side, said Ministry of Commerce and Supplies, adding that Beijing Real Estate Group Company has been appointed by China to complete the construction of the dry port which will facilitate trade between the two neighbouring countries.
The total cost of the construction of the Larcha dry port — that is scheduled to be completed in 26 months — is estimated at Chinese yuan 86.2 million, according to the ministry.
The dry port will have a facility for parking 158 big containers along with a parking space for 33 cars, according to joint secretary at the ministry Naindra Prasad Upadhyay. "A border inspection building, cargo warehouse and litigation-warehouse will be constructed in the dry port to ensure that customs clearance is smooth and fast," he added. "The government has already acquired 4.2 hectares land to construct the dry port."
The agreement has also included a provision for upgrading the road connectivity from China to Larcha. A total of 6.5-kilometre road will be upgraded for the easy transportation of goods from China to Nepal, according to the ministry. "Similarly, a 112-metre-long bridge will be constructed on the Bhotekoshi river for the easy movement of vehicles."
The construction of Larcha dry port is expected to reduce the massive congestion at the Tatopani customs point which has been the only trade point with China, which has shown an interest to open other border points too, for smooth trade between the two countries.
Nepal has not been able to increase its exports to China, whereas imports have seen a geometric growth in the last one decade.
Infrastructure bottlenecks including the access road to Tatopani customs coupled with administrative hassles has hit Nepali exports to China.
According to a new report of the World Bank published yesterday Nepal's capacity of international trade has been eroding. "Nepal has dropped 21 places in global logistics performance ranking over the past five years," according to the Logistics Performance Index (LPI) report 2012. "Inefficient infrastructure, incompetent transportation services and hassles at the customs has brought the country's capacity to facilitate international trade to the 151th position out of 155 countries. In 2007, Nepal had ranked 130 but dropped to 147th in 2010
further plunging to 151 for the year 2012," the report said, adding that Nepal is among the bottom 10 performer countries.


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