Nepal-China trade halted due to Sunkoshi tragedy

Last Updated: Thursday, August 14, 2014 - 18:18

Kathmandu: The Nepal-China trade has been severely hit due to the damage caused by the worst landslide in over a decade in the country`s northeast which cut off a major land route connecting the two nations via Tibet.
The supply of Chinese goods to Nepal via the Tatopani checkpost in Sindhupalchowk district, about 80 km east of Kathmandu, has been halted after a major portion of the Araniko Highway was damaged in the August 2 landslide that claimed 156 lives.

The landslide, triggered by heavy rains, hit three villages of the district after the Sunkoshi river, which flows across the border into Bihar as the Kosi river, was blocked creating an artificial lake near Nepal-Tibet border.

The halting of supply of essential goods from China, ahead of the festive season in Nepal has sparked fears of a price hike.

Nepal celebrates Vijaya Dashami or Dussera in the coming months and Tibet is the main source of goats and sheeps being supplied to the country during the festival.

Goods worth NRs 19 billion were imported via the Tatopani checkpost during last fiscal year, accounting for nearly 25 per cent of all imports from China.

Tatopani Customs chief Mimanshu Adhikari said clearance of goods has been almost nil over the past 12 days and has adversely affected revenue collection in this peak import season.

President of Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI) Pradeep Jung Pandey said around 600 Nepal-bound containers from Khasa in Tibet have been stranded and urged the government to open the highway at the earliest.

"The goods run the risk of being damaged," he told reporters.

Nepal Army is involved in clearing the Araniko Highway by draining out the water from the area.

PTI

First Published: Thursday, August 14, 2014 - 18:18

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