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Road linking Kathmandu with Tatopani border point repaired

2021 Sep 13, 17:09, Kathmandu
Image: Google Maps

The damaged road sections of Araniko Highway from Kathmandu to Tatopani Bazaar bordering China have been repaired and maintained, facilitating timely trade for Nepal's festival season in October.

"A few days ago, we completed the repair and maintenance work at the damage site near Liping stream too. With this repair, vehicles now can move up to the border point from Kathmandu," Bijaya Kumar Mahato, an engineer at the local road office informed.

The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down trade through the Tatopani-Zhangmu border point, a situation further exacerbated by the damage to the road caused by landslides and floods sparked by monsoon rains in the last three months, according to the Department of Road.

While makeshift repair has been done in different locations, the section of the road washed out near Liping stream, which is very close to the border point, has remained unattended for the past three months.

"Even though most importers may have already planned to use other routes to import goods from China targeting the Dashain festival, the resumption of vehicular movement may encourage other traders to choose this route," said Narad Gautam, chief officer at the Tatopani customs office.

The Dashain festival, the most important festival of Nepali Hindus and Nepali people in the Hindu-majority country, will be celebrated from Oct 7 over the victory of deities over devils, followed by another Hindu festival — Tihar, also known as the festival of lights.

"The transportation fee is relatively lower compared to fare for bringing goods through the Rasuwagadhi-Kerung border point with China, so I have been importing goods through the Tatopani-Zhangmu border point," said Bikas Shrestha, an importer of fruits and spices from China.

In the 2020-21 fiscal year that ended in mid-July, Nepal exported goods worth 1.01 billion Nepali rupees (8.67 million U.S. dollars) to China, while its imports from the northern neighbour stood at 233.92 billion rupees (1.99 billion dollars), according to Nepali central bank figures.

Nepal-China trade through the Tatopani-Zhangmu border point stood at 5.84 billion rupees (49.52 million dollars) during the period, the bank said.

Liping stream Kathmandu-Tatopani road section Araniko Highway Tatopani-Zhangmu border point Nepal-China trade route
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