Rasuwa, March 4: The gigantic immigration office of China and its intense activities across the Miteri Bridge of Rasuwagadhi-Kerung point and the Nepal Police office made up of corrugated sheets with the office of the Armed Police Force, Nepal under a tarpaulin depicts the sorry state of affairs of Nepal.
The poor status of Rasuwagadhi point, the only trade and transit point to China, after the close of Tatopani border point following the destructive Gorkha Earthquake speaks itself of unmanaged and ‘immature’ planning in the post-quake reconstruction bid.
Dozens of Chinese nationals visiting Nepal through the same border point everyday gaze at Nepal’s national flag fixed on the same corrugated sheets with keen interest.
Chairman of Nepal-China Kerung Trade Association Man Bahadur Tamang says that Nepal’s fame in the international level is degrading because of the delay in the management of the lone trade point to China even almost two years after the destructive quake.
The vehicles and passengers in the Chinese side have to undergo a thorough checkup through the advanced technology by the security personnel and customs officials stationed in the colossal building. The Chinese officials and security personnel look smart and tidy that dust is not visible in their clothes. On contrary, Nepal’s security personnel are compelled to remain standby on their duty on the dusty roads. More than that, they have a fear of life as stones from the uphill could fall on them at anytime.
Describing the absence of safety measures in the workplace, Armed Police Force’s Assistant Sub Inspector Sudeep Adhikari said, “Sub Inspector of Police Mukunda Ghimire sustained serious injury after a stone fell last week. We have been wearing helmet thereafter for our safety.”
The Nepali security personnel here lack essential equipments such as metal detector, vehicle x-ray machine and walk-through-gate among others. These equipments would be useful in controlling smuggling of contrabands including illegally possessed gold at the border point.
Sub Inspector of Police Dhruba Shrestha shared that they have been conducting security clearance on the basis of observance and making a sneak peak of the containers.
Chief District Officer of Rasuwa Chomendra Neupane confided that the problems lied in the management of the affairs here as the proposed six-storey integrated building to house immigration office, security offices at Rasuwagadhi has not been built due to dispute surrounding the contractor company.
This bordering point with China has gained prominence since China pledged investment worth more than 8 billion dollars in various development projects in Nepal during the recently held Investment Summit.
China, under the ‘One Belt One Road’, aims to connect Nepal with road network through Rasuwagadhi in Nepal from bordering point in China, Kerung once the rail network is expanded from Shigatse in China by 2020.
However, No initiative has been taken as of yet to improve the state of roads in the Nepali side, which are still rugged and possible for one-way traffic only. The Chief District Officer (CDO) of Rasuwa yet to get an official vehicle even 9 months after assuming office says it all about the state of Nepal’s preparation.
As per the international norms, the administrative structure should start with an immigration office following by customs office and the security post. However, Rasuwagadhi has only a police check post so far, with an immigration and customs office three kilometers away in Timbure.
Rasuwagadhi was the major transit point for trade between Nepal and Tibet since the reign of Ansu Verma during the Lichchavi period.
In the wake of the undeclared border blockade imposed by India last year, both government officials and leaders had announced to leave no stone unturned in upgrading and developing Rasuwagadhi. But the present sorry state of Rasuwagadhi shows that the announcement is still a long way from being materialized. RSS