SINDHUPALCHOWK, Jan 22: Trade through the Tatopani border point in the north has been closed for the next 20 days. The decision to suspend all trade activities for 20 days was taken after the maintenance of the Miteri Bridge connecting Nepal and China commenced on Thursday.
China has begun repairing the Miteri Bridge as this was partially damaged by the flood last year. Lal Bahadur Khatri, chief of the Tatopani Dry Port Customs Office, said that China has decided to take 20 days at most to repair the bridge and stop importing during this period. “No trade will take place during the maintenance period as there is no import from China,” he said.
According to China, it has started repairing the Miteri Bridge, which was damaged by floods in Bhotekoshi last monsoon. The flood had slightly damaged the pillars of the bridge. Customs Chief Khatri said that China has stopped the trade to work on the maintenance of the bridge. China has started repairing the bridge within a year and a half of its reconstruction.
After the catastrophic earthquake of 2015 damaged the Miteri Bridge, China had built a new one in the same place. The bridge came into operation only in 2016. Chief Khatri said that China had started repairing the bridge after notifying the officials in advance. He informed that the business can be started only from mid-February.
The checkpoint, which has been collecting Rs 5 billion in revenue from import and export of Rs 20-25 billion annually, has been continuously closed after the earthquake. The checkpoint remained completely closed for four years after the earthquake. The checkpoint was re-opened on May 29, 2019. In the meantime, the checkpoints were closed and reopened eight times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, floods and landslides. It was in continuous operation for three months after the checkpoint was reopened last September.