Tighter India-Nepal border check posts by February 2011

January 29th, 2009 - 5:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Kathmandu, Jan 29 (IANS) India and Nepal have agreed to revamp two key border check posts by February 2011 for greater security as well as better trade and traffic.A bilateral Project Steering Committee comprising India’s border management secretary Shantanu Consul and Nepal’s secretary for physical planning and works Umakant Jha met in Nepal’s border town Birgunj Thursday to draw up a fast-track road map for upgrading the key check posts at Birgunj in Nepal’s Parsa district and Raxaul in India’s Bihar state, via which nearly two-thirds of Indo-Nepal trade takes place.

To be upgraded on a priority basis, the integrated check posts will cost over NRS 3.90 billion. As part of India’s economic cooperation assistance, New Delhi will foot the bill, including the nearly NRS 2 billion needed for the work in Nepal.

The detailed engineering report for the project has been prepared by India’s RITES Ltd. India has also funded the NRS 40 million needed for the report.

A press statement issued by the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu Thursday said the tendering process for the upgradation is expected to be completed by May and work to begin by June 2009. The project is expected to be completed by Feb 2011.

Besides the Raxaul-Birgunj border point, bilateral trade and traffic movement between India and Nepal also takes place predominantly through Jogbani-Biratnagar, Sunauli-Bhairahawa, and Nepalganj Road-Nepalganj.

With the existing infrastructure at these check posts being old, the two neighbours had agreed to modernise the facilities to keep pace with the growth in bilateral trade.

Last year, India’s Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs announced the allocation of Rs.8,500 million for 13 entry points on the Indian border for better security and trade.

Besides the four check posts with Nepal, there are seven more on the India-Bangladesh border, and one each on the India-Pakistan and India-Myanmar border.

Nepal’s porous border with India has become a matter of growing concern for both the governments due to a spurt in border crimes, especially the growing use of it by terrorist organisations from Pakistan.

One of the two suspected Pakistani terrorists who were killed by Indian police near New Delhi on the eve of Republic Day is believed to have entered India through Nepal.

Ahmed Ali, a resident of Bahawalpur in Pakistan, had flown to Kathmandu from Karachi in May. Police suspect Ali crossed the border and headed for the Indian capital.

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