October 8: Chobhar Dry Port has been constructed in Kathmandu at a cost of Rs 1.5 billion to facilitate direct import of goods to Kathmandu. Once the dry port comes into operation, vehicles carrying goods do not have to wait in Birgunj for a long time as in the past for customs clearance.
The newly-built dry port, which can house around 500 containers, has been built by the government to facilitate the trade in the Kathmandu Valley.
The foundation stone of the dry port which was laid by the then Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli in January 2019 has been completed in about three years. Despite an agreement to complete the project in 18 months, the construction was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other reasons.
The estimated cost of the port spread over 220 ropanis of land was Rs 1.28 billion, but Rs 1.5 billion was spent during the completion of the construction.
Ashish Gajurel, executive director of the Nepal Intermodal Transport Development Board, informed that preparations are being made for the operation of the port. Stating that the construction has been completed, he said that preparations are being made to bring stakeholders like customs, quarantine, security arrangements and banks.
“As the dry port is far from border checkpoints, goods should be brought to Kathmandu through the Birgunj port,” Gajurel said, “It covers everything from security issues to customs clearance.”
Meanwhile, the board has been doing necessary homework to determine a modality in which the dry port could be operated.
Gajurel added that there are three gates at the dry port, each exclusively slated for import, export and contingencies. The dry port also has three buildings (customs, quarantine and administrative), three large warehouses, structures for customs purposes, container and parking area.Once the dry port comes into operation, it is expected to maximize imports and facilitate export, decrease investment costs and simplify trade in general.
It would also help reduce logistics costs. Gajurel said that a study will be carried out on how much the logistics cost will be reduced when goods are brought directly from Birgunj port to Chobhar port.