KAPILVASTU, June 29: More than 80% of revenue at Suthauli Customs Office, located in Yashodhara Rural Municipality, comes from agricultural products. However, in lack of quarantine services in Suthauli, all stakeholders are suffering.
Though the government has standardized the customs office, it has not ensured the establishment of the quarantine services there. For this reason, the staff of the customs office, as well as the traders and businessmen, are facing problems.
Finance Minister Yuba Raj Khatiwada had inaugurated the Suthauli Customs Office in September 24.
Trucks carrying goods to Nepal have to queue up for long hours on route to Taulihawa Maryadapur in lack of quarantine services. Food, livestock, and vegetables are imported from India and the traders are obliged to visit Krishnanagar for animal quarantine and Regional Food Technology and Quality Control Office, Bhairahawa, for food quarantine.
Locals claim that the possibility of road accidents has gone up because of parked trucks carrying goods. Currently, maize and soya doc got clearance from quarantine office located at Krishnanagar, while potato, onion and other vegetables that were sent to Bhairahawa are awaiting clearance, according to Tirtha Raj Paswan, head of Suthauli Customs Office.
Mati Bullaha Musalman stated that the absence of quarantine office has made it hard for them. He said, “The cost for vehicle and workers is high because of long time spent in lack of quarantine services.”
“Even after the upgrade of the customs office, it takes a whole day to test pass and pay customs due to the lack of sufficient parking spots,” said Kamal Hasan Khan, a customs representative.
“Until clearance is received from Bhairahawa and Krishnanagar, no work at the customs gets done. It has made it hard for us,” he said, adding: “What kind of arrangement is this? You establish the customs office but not a quarantine office.”
Gayadin Kumi, president of Taulihawa Chamber of Commerce and Industry said: “It is unfortunate that even after 10 months of the establishment of the customs office, a quarantine office has not been established.”