Nepal, India’s neighbouring country is land locked and presently uses Kolkata for sea borne trade.
During the official visit of Mr. Madhav Kumar Nepal, the Prime Minister of Nepal to India from August 18-22, India has agreed to
- the utilization of Visakhapatnam sea port for movement of transit traffic to and from Nepal to facilitate foreign trade.
- favourably consider the request for an additional sea port in western coast for trade.
Also during the visit, it was agreed to improve rail connectivity between the two countries by providing two cross-border rail links with Indian assistance at the following two points along the India-Nepal border at an estimated cost of INR 680 crores:
- Jogbani-Biratnagar (18 Kms)
- Gauge conversion of Jayanagar to Bijalpura (51 kms) and extension of the same to Bardibas (17 kms)
Nepal has three ICDs (Inland Clearance Depot) at Birgunj (rail based), Biratnagar and Bhairahawa (both road based) for facilitation of Nepal’s foreign trade. Birgunj ICD is directly linked to Kolkata port by rail and the container train service is operated by the public sector Container Corporation of India. Nepal’s major export commodities are: Paste, Pulses, Oil Cake, Catechu, Jute good Sacking, Twins, Carpets (Hand knitted wollen), Readymade garments, handicrafts, ginger.
Surprisingly, the Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) is not aware of providing Visakhapatnam sea port to Nepal for foreign trade.
Here is the press release from Ministry of External Affairs, India: Joint Press Statement on the Official Visit of the Prime Minister of Nepal Rt. Hon. Madhav Kumar Nepal to India
Read more from The Hindu-Business Line: Kolkata Port Trust unaware of plans to allow Nepal use Vizag port
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