Om Prakash Khanal
September 30: Fertiliser damaged by rain has been stuck in the dry port of Birgunj for more than a year. A total of 126,000 sacks (6,300 metric tons) of Di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) ordered by Salt Trading Corporation and Agriculture Inputs Company Limited have been stranded at the port.
Chief Customs Officer of Birgunj Dry Port Lal Bahadur Khatri said that they are unable to dispose the damaged fertiliser as the supplier has not come in contact yet. “We have confiscated the spoiled fertiliser. Such fertilisers should be destroyed because they cannot get customs clearance,” he told New Business Age.
The fertiliser is currently dumped on a vacant land of the railway track at the port. As it takes up space in the warehouse, it is kept on the space between the two tracks of the railway.
There is confusion as to how to destroy the fertilizer. Port operator Pristine Valley Dryport Pvt. Ltd is pressurizing to remove the damaged fertiliser from the port. However, the customs administration is confused as the supplier is out of contact.
Khatri said that the supplier company is responsible for destroying the damaged fertiliser. “But, as the supplier is not in contact, the fertliser is piled up in the land of the port,” he said.
Swiss Singapore Overseas Enterprises of Dubai, United Arab Emirates is responsible for the supply of the fertiliser. Among the damaged fertilizer, 5,000 metric tons belonged to STC and the rest to the Agricultural Inputs Company.
In mid-August last year, it was found that the fertiliser that entered Birgunj by train through Kolkata port was soaked and damaged due to the Amphan storm. So, the customs did not pass the inspection.
Amoj Lamichhane, chief of the Salt Trading Corporation Birgunj, claimed that they did not suffer any financial loss as the supplier had borne the loss for the. He said that it is the responsibility of the supplier for destroying the damaged fertiliser.
According to the customs office, they do not have enough space to destroy those fertilisers within the port while they have not been able to dump it elsewhere.
Port operator Pristine Valley has been saying that the port operation has become inconvenient due to dumped fertiliser.
“We are facing difficulties in managing the port due to the lack of space. Large quantities of the fertiliser have become an additional problem,” said B Mohan, executive director of Pristine Valley.