Nepalgunj ICP handed over to Nepal, to come into operation from May 8

Published On: April 23, 2024 08:50 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, April 23: The Government of India has handed the Nepalgunj Integrated Check Post (ICP) over to Nepal. Built with the financial and technical support of India, the construction of the ICP began in September 2020, and the completed check post was handed over on Monday evening.

After 15 years since the agreement between the governments of Nepal and India, the ICP was constructed at the Nepalgunj border crossing. The ICP was jointly inaugurated by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 1, 2023, through a virtual ceremony. The completed ICP has now been handed over to the Federal Level Project Implementation Unit, Banke, under the Department of Urban Development and Buildings, Government of Nepal.

The ICP management and operation assigned to the Nepal Intermodal Transport Development Board (NITDB) by the project unit will start from May 8. TRS Atlas Logipark Pvt Ltd has got the infrastructure responsibility for running the ICP.

The NITDB has stated that preparations for the operation of the Nepalgunj ICP, aimed at simplifying Nepal's international trade processes, have been completed. There is a policy in place to select qualified private sector operating companies through international bidding for the operation and management of terminals (dry ports, integrated check posts, and container freight stations) under the Board.

Accordingly, the NITDB invited international-level bids for the Nepalgunj ICP on June 26.

According to the notice, two companies, Atlas Terminal JV Bhatbhateni, Kathmandu, and Trans Nepal Freight Services Pvt Ltd Biratnagar participated in the bidding process.

An agreement for Rs 208.88 million for 5 years was signed on November 8 with TRS Atlas Logipark Pvt Ltd, a joint investment company registered according to law by Atlas Terminal JV, the company which was selected through the evaluation process from among the two companies.

As per the agreement, TRS Atlas will commence the operation and management of the Nepalgunj ICP from the date of handover to the Board.

Ashish Gajurel, executive director of the Board, said that when he joined the Board three years ago, 6 ports were operating under the Board. Of them, four were being operated and managed by the private sector and two by the Board itself. "Today we have 8 ports and all are being operated by private sector companies selected through a competitive system," he said.

Local industrialists and businessmen are optimistic that with the handover of the ICP, they will have access to all services at one place.

The President of Nepalgunj Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Tanka Dhami, said that since the ICP has been handed over, now the industrialists and businessmen do not have to face any hassles and problems.

"Once the ICP is operationalized swiftly, it will facilitate our work as industrialists and traders by providing services in one location," he mentioned. At the ICP site, a structure has been erected to house customs offices, animal and plant quarantine facilities, warehouses, food technology and quality control facilities, security barracks, bank counters, and other offices.

Customs office staff stated that after the ICP becomes operational, cargo vehicle inspections will be conducted at the same location. Dhruba Raj Bishwakarma, Chief Customs Officer of Nepalgunj Customs Office, shared that the office is now preparing for operations at the ICP.

"After the handover, the customs office will commence operations at the ICP site on May 8. We have decided to relocate to the ICP and commence work from there. We have already informed the ministry and department regarding this," he stated.



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