Kathmandu: Nepal Monday reopened one of its key border trade routes with China, six months after it was closed following the coronavirus pandemic, according to Nepalese officials.
The Rasuwagadhi-Kerung border point is one of the two main border points for international trade between Nepal and China. Another border point, Tatopani-Zhangmu, reopened in late March, more than two months after its closure.
For the time being only one-way goods transport has been resumed between the two countries. Goods stranded at Kerung of Tibet, have started entering Nepal through the border point from Monday, the officials said.
Rasuwagadhi has been opened to facilitate goods coming from China to enter Nepal. No human transport is allowed in the border point for the time being. Two-way operation and human movement will resume after some time, they said.
A total of 120 tonnes of goods will be delivered to Nepal everyday from China, the officials said.
Chief of Rasuwa Customs Office, Punya Bikram Khadka said four trucks will be allowed to operate in the beginning and the number will be continuously increased as the service improves, MyRepublica newspaper reported.
Out of the many goods imported from China, fruits, readymade goods, electronic gadgets, equipment required by telecom and hydropower projects are among the prominently imported ones, the report said.
“The goods will enter Nepal according to their turns,” Khadka said.
The border point has remained closed since January due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nepal on Sunday reported 293 new coronavirus cases, taking its total count to 15,784, according to the Ministry of Health and Population. Till now, 32 people have died due to the disease in the country.
The deadly coronavirus originated in China’s Wuhan city in December. China has reported 83,553 confirmed cases and 4,634 deaths since the pandemic began.
Nepal has submitted the details of 15 drivers and 15 labourers who will be handling the goods and transport them to Nepal. All the labourers and drivers engaged in the process will take care of their works at their designated locations and will work without direct contact, the report added.
“The Chinese side will bring the goods and unload them and the Nepali side will take care of the remaining tasks till it reaches Nepal,” Khadka said.
The Rasuwagadhi border point that officially came into use from 2015, registers more than 250 vehicles carrying goods for import and export on a daily basis, MyRepblica reported.
The number of trade, traders and cargo trucks passing by largely increased in Rasuwagadhi after China officially declared this border point as one of its international borders, it added.
The Kerung Valley of Tibet is just 24 kilometers away from this border point. Although the border was closed in January, traders from Kerung were still using this thborder to travel back and forth until February.