Imported goods unlikely to arrive in time for Dashain
Due to worsening road condition – due to a landslide that cut off the Araniko Highway to Kathmandu before Dashain – traders will have hard time transporting imports from China stuck at Khasa and Tatopani.
On Sunday, the road to Tatopani was further damaged after the flooded Sunkoshi River breached the dam formed by landslide debris and overflowed its banks, making it impossible for vehicles to pass by the road.
More than 1,000 Nepal-bound container trucks packed with goods for the Dashain festival – from China – are are waiting on the highway in Khasa, China for the last 39 days as the road to Kathmandu remains cut off.
Around 200 containers are stranded at the Chinese parking area in Khasa. And around 80 containers have been stranded in Tatopani Customs Office yard.
Earlier, on August 2, a massive landslide swept over the highway burying a 1.5-km section at Jure in Sindhupalchok. The landslide also dammed the Sunkoshi River, which inundated few kilometers of road, halting vehicular movement.
There is no alternative to Arniko highway to transport China-import to Kathmandu for Dashian, senior vice-president of Nepal Truck Containers Entrepreneurs’ Association Bishnu Bahadur Khatri said, adding that readymade garments, textiles, footwear and blankets worth Rs 4 billion have been stranded in Khasa, the China-Nepal border.
The traders had been using porters to transport goods as they were not sure when the road will reopen. However, the cost of the imported goods will go up due to porters charge that stands at Rs 3,000 per load,” they said
Due to road-blockade, the warehouses in Khasa are overflowing with imports for the country’s biggest festival.
However, some of the goods have started damaging due to rain and also pilferage.
Around 30 per cent to 40 per cent of the imports through this route take place during the first quarter of the fiscal year, according to president of Sindhupalchok Chamber of Commerce and Industry Kamal Kumar Shrestha.
The worse road condition has aldo hit the government coffer as Tatopani is one of the largest customs point for Chinese import. The country imported goods worth Rs 19 billion in the last fiscal year through Tatopani customs.
Tatopani customs is expected to mobilise Rs 22.7 million daily revenue daily before the festivities.