November 27, 2022 11:47 AM NPT
By: Ganesh Bisu
BANKE, Nov 27: It has been found that 40 percent of the work of the Integrated Customs Checkpoint (ICP) under construction in Nepalgunj, which is scheduled to be completed by June 2023, is still remaining. Only 60 percent of the ICP work has been completed in 22 months since the construction work started in December 2020. The remaining 40 percent of the work should be completed within the next seven months if the construction is to be completed within the stipulated time.
India's Rajdeep Bridcom Pvt Ltd has received a contract worth 1.47 billion Indian rupees for the construction of the ICP in Nepalgunj Sub-metropolitan City ward number 16, Jayashpur. According to the agreement between the governments of Nepal and India 17 years ago, India will have to complete the construction of the ICP and hand it over to the Government of Nepal. In 2005, an agreement was reached with the Government of India for the construction of ICPs in the Biratnagar, Birgunj and Bhairahawa crossings along with Nepalgunj. In Biratnagar and Birgunj, India has already handed over the ICP to the Government of Nepal.
Bijay Mandalik, project manager of the construction company, claimed that 60 percent of the work has been completed so far, which is good progress. However, even the construction company is not sure if the construction will be completed on time. Mandalik indicated that it could take a few more months. He said that it took a long time because the soil had to be filled in the initial stage and the work was affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Now the soil filling work is almost finished," he said, "The construction of buildings and other structures has almost reached its final stage. In this way, we are hopeful that the work will be completed on time. However, if not finished in the stipulated time, just one or two months will have to be added.” Mandalik has claimed that the work will be done quickly as the time now is suitable for construction.
“There is no problem in obtaining construction materials. There are no other obstacles. Now, the weather is good as well. Because of that, we have no problem working," he said.
The ICP is being constructed on 87 bighas of land. At present, the buildings and sheds in the DPR are being constructed. A 2,200 meter long link road connecting the main road from the ICP has also been constructed. Now, mainly the construction of buildings and other structures and the construction of parking and open areas are left.
The ICP will have offices such as customs office, bank, animal quarantine, plant quarantine, food technology and quality control necessary for customs clearance. It is expected that the service of Nepalgunj Customs, one of the busiest in the country, which is currently in a disorganized state, will improve and revenue leakage will decrease. At present, due to the lack of a systematic customs structure, the Nepalgunj border crossing is unorganized. There is a situation where trucks, tankers and containers and other cargo vehicles have to be stopped on the main road.