Sunday, 5 April, 2020

Trucks loaded with essential goods continue to enter Nepal

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By Laxman Poudel, Bhairahawa, Mar 26:  More trucks loaded with essential goods have entered Nepal through Bhairahawa Customs Point on Thursday after officials of Nepal and India agreed for uninterrupted import and export of essential commodities between the two countries.

A meeting of customs officials and customs agents of both countries and Trans Nepal on Wednesday evening had decided to facilitate import and export between the countries without any restriction.

After the lockdown decision, fewer vehicles had entered Nepal from Belahiya, as vehicle operators fear lack of food and accommodation facility.

But following the agreements between two sides, more goods carriers have entered Nepal, said Kamal Kumar Bhattarai, chief of Customs Office of Bhairahawa.

Bhairahawa is the second major customs point of Nepal to trade with India.

After the agreement, a total of 112 trucks carrying goods have entered Nepal by Thursday afternoon, he said. Only 85 such trucks had entered the country on Wednesday.

Trucks entered Nepal were carrying food items, vegetables and fruits, medicines and industrial raw materials, including 12 LP gas bullets.

Bhattarai said that petroleum tankers had entered India on Thursday which would return on Friday by loading fuel from Baitalpur of India.

On Wednesday, 15 LP gas bullets, 4 petroleum tankers, 21 trucks carrying foods and raw materials and 21 trucks loaded with vegetables and fruits had entered Nepal from the customs.

In fear of their security in Nepal after the lockdown decision of the government, many Indian truck operators were not entering Nepal. Such trucks have started to enter Nepal following security assurance of the Nepali side.

Though there is no possibility of bringing all types of goods carriers as India has also applied lockdown, we are taking initiatives to continue for the uninterrupted mobility of foods, gas and petroleum products,” Bhattarai said.

Similarly, officials of two counties have agreed to send back Indian trucks coming to Nepal without any restrictions. A total of 114 empty trucks have been sent to India on Thursday, said Man Bahadur Shahi, deputy superintendent of Armed Police Force.

Considering the risk of COVID-19 spread, the customs office is conducting health check of drivers entering Nepal.

Dr Shanta Kumar Sharma, central president of Customs Agents Association, said that there is not any problem in import of essential goods including food items.

He said that around 2,500 trucks had been stopped in India due to lack of LC after banks closed their services with sudden lockdown.

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