BIRGUNJ, Dec 20: While arrangements are being made to initiate the Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Nepal-India border in Birgunj, its operation is delayed due to lack of proper road in the Nepali side.
The identical customs posts constructed on both sides of the border consist of advanced technologies. In Nepal, the cost has been Rs 5 billion.
“The ICP is an important project that is set to efficiently manage and mitigate malpractices prevalent in the customs,” said Binod Prakash Singh, chief district officer of Parsa. “The ICP is almost complete; however the main problem now remains the connecting road.”
The construction of the ICP at Alau, Parsa, in the Nepali side of the border is spread over 15 bigha of land.
Ninety percent of the construction work is already completed, according to Suresh Kumar Wagle, divisional engineer at Birgunj office of Department of Urban Development and Building Construction.
The infrastructure in the Indian side of the border was completed a year ago, spreading across an area of 110 bigha.
Wagle told Republica that the ICP shall commence its operation within the timeframe decided upon by both nations. However, the road connecting the ICP with the Hulaki Rajmarga of Nepal is very narrow in some places.
“After the ICP starts operation, thousands of vehicles will pass from the road carrying gas bullets, platform trucks, and bigger lorries. The width of the road is neither enough for turning the vehicles nor for handling the flow of vehicles,” said Sewanta Pokharel, chief customs officer at Birgunj Customs Office.
Pokharel said that there was no choice but to expand the narrow 610-meter-long road connecting the ICP and Sirsiya Chowk of Birgunj. Although the process for expanding the road to six lanes has already commenced, this has been delayed due to delay in acquisition of local land.
“We have to acquire 6 bigha and 1 kattha of land to expand the road. The compensation to local landowners shall be Rs 6.2 million per kattha,” said Singh, adding, “We are now surveying the required land area, and we believe the process of notifying the locals and distribution of compensation could be carried out within a month.”
Pappu Construction, the company that has been entrusted with the work of road expansion, claimed that the expansion work will be completed within three month after the acquisition of land.