The dry port at Chobhar, Kathmandu is all set to come into operation now. All the basic infrastructures of the government-built dry port were ready, according to the Nepal Intermodal Transport Development Board. The port which can house around 500 containers has been built by the government to facilitate the trade and traders in the Kathmandu Valley. Built at the cost of over Rs 1.60 billion, the dry port has three buildings and three godowns. It would be brought into operation as soon as the dry port custom clearance section and containers were ready, said Executive Director of the Committee, Ashish Gajurel. Once the dry port comes into operation, it is expected to maximize imports and facilitate export, decrease investment costs and simplify trade in general.
Gajurel added that there were three gates at the dry port, each exclusively slated for import, export and contingencies. The construction process for the same had begun in 2018 in a total of 261 ropani land which includes residence for the employees as well. Shanxi-Ashish JV Company was awarded contract to build it. Erstwhile Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had laid the foundation stone for the dry port on January 17, 2019. The construction of the dry port was supposed to be completed within 18 months but owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the construction process could not meet the deadline, according to the Board.
Meanwhile, the Board has been doing necessary homework to determine a modality in which the dry port could be operated. A committee has been formed under the coordination of the joint-secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies to prepare a modus operandi of the first-ever dry port in the Kathmandu Valley. The Board assures once the dry port comes into operation, the vehicles ferrying containers do not have to wait in Birgunj for a long time as in the past for clearance of customs points.