January 22: Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi jointly inaugurated the Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Biratnagar on Tuesday (January 21) through video conference.
The ICP was built with financial assistance of Rs 2.24 billion from India. It is spread over 169 bigha of land in the border area.
Speaking at the inauguration, Prime Minister KP Oli said this ICP is an example of mutual cooperation and now it is time for action to implement partnership programmes.
Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Modi said India is a reliable partner for Nepal’s development.
Issuing a press statement, the Embassy of India in Kathmandu said both prime ministers carried out the inauguration via video-conferencing from the respective capitals.
According to the statement, India and Nepal have agreed to build ICPs along both sides of the border to facilitate two-way trade and movement of people. ICP Birgunj was inaugurated in April 2018 with the aim to facilitate and improve Nepal’s two-way trade with India and third countries.
The work on the newly built ICP Biratnagar started in December 2016 and completed in October 2019.
“The ICP puts in place systematically planned, properly inter-connected and efficiently managed border check-posts at the authorized Jogbani-Biratnagar border crossing point between the two countries. It is expected to facilitate movement of traffic and enhance trade between the two countries,” the statement said.
According to the Indian Embassy, the ICP has integrated three main border related functions ie customs, immigration and border security and facilitates movement of both passenger and freight between the two countries.
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 added.
The embassy further said that the ICP is equipped with all modern facilities like warehousing facilities including the refrigerated cargo, electronic weighbridges, 100 percent power backup, fire safety, dedicated communication network and 24x7 monitoring through CCTV and public announcement systems.
“Adequate facilities for quarantine, amenities for drivers, passengers and security personnel have also been created, along with a waste water treatment plant and large scale landscaping and tree plantation to conserve and enhance the environment.”