BARA, June 19: Regular banda and strikes is taking tool on industries in Birgunj-Pathlaiya Industrial Corridor - one of the important manufacturing areas in the country.
With the manufacturing units remaining idle to banda and strikes, the industrialists are staring at huge losses as they have to pay bank loans, electricity bills as well as salary of workers.
The protest and shutdown called by Rastriya Janata Party (RJP) has affected smooth operation of industries in the corridor which was gradually returning to normalcy following end of Madhes movement and Indian blockade six months ago.
Om Prakash Sharma, president of the Birgunj Chamber of Commerce and Industries (BICCI), series of protests and shutdowns called by political parties to show dissatisfaction against the new constitution has taken toll on the industrial sector.
“Industrialists, who are yet to recover last year's losses, are again haunted by protests and shutdowns,” he added.
Industrialists say a day of banda causes them loss of Rs 200 million. “This is the worst-hit industrial areas in the country. And the indifference of the government and the political parties toward our problems is compounding our woes,” Sharma added.
The corridor was beginning to attract new industries. But they are shifting to other areas, local industrialists say.
“Investment environment here was ruined by Madhes movement and blockade last year. Though investment environment was beginning to improve in recent months, the recent protest and shutdown enforced by RJP spoilt everything,” he added.
Kolkata, the nearest port from Nepal, lies just 700 km away from Birgunj. Also, Birgunj has the only dry port in the country connected to the Indian Railways. “It is because of these advantages that industrialists prefer to invest here. But the recent political problems have made things really difficult for us,” added Sharma.
Hulas, Jagadamba, Saakha, Hama, Shalimar, Jagshakti, Narayani, Bhagwati, Surya Nepal, Dabur Nepal, Subhashree Jagadamba Cement, RMC Cement, Advance Cement, Star Cement, Narayani Rolling Mill, Pashupati Katha Mill, Hanuman Metal and Rajesh Metal are some of the including operating in Birgunj-Pathlaiya Industrial Corridor.
Industrial units in the corridor directly employ more than 50,000 people.