ICP at Jogbani-Biratnagar border will help India, Nepal

Kathmandu: Nepal and India will benefit from the cost-effective Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Jogbani-Biratnagar border as lot of time will be saved, said Nepal’s Minister of Industry, Commerce and Supplies Lekhraj Bhatta here on Wednesday.

“Nepal and India will benefit from this cost-effective Integrated Check Post. The loading and unloading, which earlier took a lot of time, will be saved,” Bhatta told ANI.

Taking about the effect of ICP on Nepal’s industry and economy, he said: “Thanks to the already existing industrial corridor at Biratnagar, the production will increase. Goods coming from a third country will easily get transported.”

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepali counterpart KP Sharma Oli jointly inaugurated the ICP at the Jogbani-Biratnagar border in a bid to facilitate trade and people’s movement between the two countries.

Built by the Indian government at a cost of NPR 2.24 billion, the ICP puts in place systematically planned, properly inter-connected and efficiently managed border check-posts at the authorised Jogbani-Biratnagar border crossing point.

The ICP has integrated three main border-related functions, that is, customs, immigration, and border security and facilitates the movement of both passenger and freight between the two countries, the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu said in a statement.

“Biratnagar is the third-largest revenue collecting check post on Nepal side and is expected to reduce the waiting and processing time considerably,” the statement read.

The ICP is equipped with all modern facilities like warehousing facilities including the refrigerated cargo, electronic weighbridges, 100 per cent power backup, fire safety, dedicated communication network, and 24×7 monitoring through CCTV and Public Announcement systems, the statement added.

Adequate facilities for quarantine, amenities for drivers, passengers, and security personnel have also been created, along with a wastewater treatment plant and large scale landscaping and tree plantation to conserve and enhance the environment.

For the construction of these houses, the Indian government is contributing USD 100 million grants and a USD 50 million soft loans.

“For ensuring that the home-owners rebuild their homes with earthquake-resilient features, the Government of India has hired the services of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Nepal and United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in Gorkha and Nuwakot districts, respectively,” the statement read.

To date, as many as 45,057 houses have been constructed. India has so far reimbursed an amount of NPRs 6.96 billion from grants and NPRs 3.11 billion from soft loans to Nepal.

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