India-Nepal border: Integrated Check Post construction begins at Nepalgunj

ANI
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The construction of an Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Nepal's Nepalgunj began on Thursday.
The construction of an Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Nepal's Nepalgunj began on Thursday.

New Delhi [India], November 12 (ANI): The construction of an Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Nepal's Nepalgunj began on Thursday, with the aim to further boost connectivity and enhance people-to-people trade ties between New Delhi and Kathmandu, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said here.

"Piyush Goyal, Indian Commerce & Industry Minister and Krishna Gopal Shrestha, Nepali Minister for Urban Development witnessed the ground-breaking ceremony to mark the beginning of the construction of an Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Nepalgunj, in Nepal," said Indian Embassy, Kathmandu.

The MEA said in a statement that India is building Integrated Check Posts on either side of the Indo-Nepal border to systematise the movement of cross-border cargo trucks.

"Government of India is building Integrated Check Posts on either side of the Indo-Nepal border to systematize the movement of cross-border cargo trucks between the two countries by bringing customs and immigration facilities under one roof. ICPs at Birgunj and Biratnagar were jointly inaugurated and operationalized in April 2018 and January 2020 respectively by Prime Ministers of India and Nepal," MEA said.

"ICP at Nepalgunj, once completed, will have export and import cargo handling facilities such as warehousing, including refrigerated cargo facilities, medical, plant and animal quarantine areas, amenities for drivers and passenger, CCTV and other security systems, 24/7 power backup, waste-water treatment facilities, to facilitate smooth movement of cargo and passenger vehicles," MEA statement said.

The facility is envisaged to promote a systematic approach to cargo handling and, therefore, will result in saving time and inconvenience to visitors and reduce overall transaction costs for cross-border trade and commerce, MEA added.

A similar facility is being built on the Indian side in Rupaidiha by the Lands Ports Authority of India and the work on the facility started in May this year and over 10 per cent of construction work has been completed.

The MEA further said, "During the construction period, the ICP Nepalgunj project is expected to create local employment and boost local economy by way of direct and indirect job creation and also supply of essential raw material and items from local markets. Overall the facility created under the project is envisaged to promote cross-border trade and economic activities between India and Nepal."

"In line with 'Neighbourhood First' policy, the Government of India is committed to enhance connectivity with Nepal, including facilitating and promoting border trade and economic activities," MEA added.

During the ceremony, Piyush Goyal also announced that India will take up the construction of a fourth ICP at Bhairahawa in Nepal under Indian funding.

The creation of advanced cross-border logistics and infrastructure facilities over the last three years is expected to further boost connectivity and help realise the shared pursuit of stronger and mutually beneficial trade, economic and people-to-people trade ties between India and Nepal, MEA said. (ANI)