By Laxman Kafle, Kathmandu, Jan. 17: The much-hyped Integrated Check Post (ICP) in Biratnagar will come into operation from next week. The formal inauguration of the ICP is scheduled for January 21, 2020.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi will inaugurate the IPC on coming Tuesday through video conference, said official at the Ministry of Industry Commerce and Supplies (MoICS).
The formal inauguration will be marked by pressing a switch button by the prime ministries of both the countries through a live video conference connected in between the Prime Minister’s Office in Singha Durbar, Office of the Indian Prime Minister, said Muktiram Rijal, section officer of the Ministry.
Likewise, the government of India will hand over the ICP to the government of Nepal before the inaugural ceremony as the necessary works are underway in this regard, he said.
The ICPs are constructed under the technical and financial support of the government of India.
Officials of Nepal and India had signed a pact to construct the ICP in 2005 and the foundation stone of ICP Biratnagar was laid in March 2017. The estimated cost of the project was IRs. 1.145 billion.
Earlier, an IPC in Birgunj had come into operation. It was the first ICP constructed in Nepal under the financial and technical support of the government of India.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi jointly inaugurated the integrated check post (ICP) of Birgunj from Hyderabad House in New Delhi in April 2018, during PM Oli’s India visit.
“Operation modality of the ICP Biratnagar has already determined. It will operate in similar model as the IPC in Birgunj,” said Pradeep Kumar Singh, project chief, Federal Project Implementation Unit under the Ministry of Urban Development.
The project will run under the Nepal Intermodal Transport Development Board (NITDB) where it will provide the ICP to the private sector in lease for its smooth operation, he said.
The NITDB has allowed the Trans Nepal for its operation until the selection of the company through tender as it will take a few months to select the company through tender, he said.
“Representatives from NITDB, Federal Project Implementation Unit on behalf of the government of Nepal and Rites India Limited on behalf of the government of India are verifying the check list of the infrastructure to complete the handover process of the project,” he said.
The ICP in Biratnagar will offer an effective platform for traders for trade logistics, he said.
It will be equipped with customs, immigration, quarantine, banks, warehouse, litigation shed and parking that are required for the clearance of goods and movement of people from a single location, thereby reducing trading cost for traders.
Spread over 169 bighas of land, the Biratnagar ICP have a cargo building, terminal building and offer currency exchange service, internet, cold storage, CCTV, restaurants and banks, among other facilities.
He said that the Biratnagar ICP would help reduce the cost and time of the country’s foreign trade.
As per the agreement signed between government of Nepal and India in 2005, the government of India has initiated to construct ICP in Nepalgunj.