BIRGUNJ, Oct 7: Industrialists are at the receiving end of two different rules on transport of imported raw materials from Birgunj introduced by Mid-Regional Traffic Police, Pathlaiya.
Different rules on import of HR sheet, which is used to make cooking gas cylinders and fuel tankers, among others, is benefitting some industrialists, while raising transport cost for others.
HR sheet, which comes in huge coils, is brought to Sirsiya dry port in Birgunj from different parts of India using railway. Each coil weights around 25 tons. These coils are then transported to different industries on trailers. A trailer can transport three coils at a time. However, Mid-Regional Traffic Police, Pathlaiya, allows trailers to transport three coils only up to Pathlaiya. From Pathlaiya, it allows trailers to transport only one coil at a time because of reason best known to traffic police officials. The road conditions to Amlekhgunj are almost same.
Because of this unfair treatment by the Mid-Regional Traffic Police, production cost of industries based in and around Pathlaiya is lower than industries in other parts of the country.“
"We have to pay around Rs 75,000 to transport three coils, while industries in Pathlaiya can transport them by paying only around Rs 30,00”," Ashok Shrestha, director of Amlekhgunj-based Nepal Cylinder Industries Pvt Ltd, told Republica“ "Our competitive edge has been affected as we have been paying Rs 3 per kg more for raw materials compared to other industrie”."
Nepal Cylinder Industries, which produces cooking gas cylinder, is an enterprise under Panchakanya Group.
A Parwanipur-based factory, which produces cooking gas cylinder, is benefitting from this rule introduced by the Mid-Regional Traffic Police, according to officials of Nepal Cylinder Industries.
Surendra Prasad Mainali, chief of Mid-Regional Traffic Police Office, defended the new rules, saying that the provision was introduced to control overloading of cargo vehicles“ "We, however, have given some relaxation for industries in the industrial corridor as per the decision taken by District Administration Office and other agencie”," he added.
Nepal Cylinder Industries, which employs around 190 workers, has been sending written complaints against the Mid-Regional Traffic Police Office's decision to different agencies like the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), Birgunj Chamber of Commerce and Industries (BCCI), District Administration Office, Bara, Regional Administration Office, Hetauda, Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport as well as Mid-Regional Traffic Police Office for the past three years.
Though senior government officers have verbally requested Mid-Regional Traffic Police Office for fair treatment to all industries, nothing has changed. BCCI has written to the traffic police office many times, but to no avail.