RASUWA, July 29: Rasuwagadhi border point, the only trade route connecting Nepal to China, has been shut down after a flood in Ghatkhola of Gosaikunda Village Municaplity-2 damaged the bridge there.
After Wednesday's flood, the flow of traffic was entirely blocked as the bridge's condition was deemed poor. A total of seventy vehicles coming to Nepal and hundred vehicles leaving for China were on halt because of the blockage.
Vehicles carrying goods from Kerung of Tibet to China were on a standstill. Chief District Officer (CDO) Krishna Paudel said that he is not in a position to say when the vehicular movement will resume until a technical report is released. CDO Paudel said that technicians have already been mobilized to prepare a report on the condition of the bridge along with an engineer from the Division Road Office. The ministry concerned has been briefed accordingly.
The technical team assigned to check the bridge has already returned. Division Chief Niraj Shakya informed Republica that a team of engineers was also sent Saturday to provide an extended report regarding the bridge's current condition. It has been reported that the rain swept away three meters of mud in the bridge's foundation.
“Technicians have informed us that the bridge has been identified as being at high risk”, said Division Chief Shakya, adding, “In such a situation, it is most advisable to assign a special force for the reconstruction and maintenance of the bridge.”
The Tatopani Transit Point along the Nepal-China boarder was shut down after it was damaged in the April 25, 2015 earthquake. The Rasuwagadhi Checkpoint then came into operation in October, 2015 becoming the Nepal's only trade route with China. The Chinese government had declared this route as an International Trade Point in August 2017.
Clothes, apples, lady's slippers, rubber, plastic slippers, hand bags, leather shoes, car batteries, UPS, and other plastic materials have been entering Nepal from China through the checkpoint. Similarly, statues, woodcraft, broom grass (Thysanolaena maxima), bamboo chairs, tooth paste, makeup products, noodles, hair oil, woolen carpets and the like are being exported to China.
With the Rasuwagadhi Checkpoint's formal operation, around 250 vehicles pass through the check point on a regular basis. After China declared the checkpoint an international transit point, the number of traders, businessmen, and their vehicles passing through the checkpoint has risen considerably.