BIRATNAGAR, Feb 10: After a year´s delay, the government of Nepal is finally going to hand over land to the Indian government for the construction of an Integrated Check Post (ICP) along the Nepal-India border at Biratnagar.
Though officials of Nepal and India had agreed to complete the ICP at Biratnagar by July, 2012, Nepal is about to provide 136 bigha of land for the purpose in the second week of February.
The major reason behind the delay in the construction is dispute over the land and over the compensation amount for the land owners, according to local administration officials in Morang district.
The government acquired the land from more than 100 families in Budhhanagar VDC for Rs. 1.4 million.
Handover of the land to the Indian government was delayed after the locals demanded more compensation money, informed Taranath Gautam, Chief District Office (CDO) of Morang.
“We are going to hand over the land as all the disagreements between villagers and the local administration regarding the land have been settled and they have shifted to another place,” he added.
The Morang-based office of the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction (DUDBC) has already fenced off the land with wire. Along with this, the construction of a temporary army barracks has also been accomplished, informed Roshan Shrestha, chief of DUDBC in the district.
Stating that the process of handing over the land has already begun, Shrestha said, “The construction of the ICP will be completed within two years of the land handover.” He further informed that the construction of a corresponding ICP on the India side is underway.
On August 3, 2005, government officials of Nepal and India had inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for establishing ICPs at Birgunj, Biratnagar, Bhairahawa and Nepalgunj customs points on the Nepali side and corresponding customs offices on the Indian side.
The India-funded project is expected to cost Rs. 1.3 billion.
The ICPs will house all regulatory agencies such as immigration, customs, border security and quarantine along with other facilities including currency exchange, internet and cafeteria in a single complex.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bijay Kumar Gachhadar visited the ICP construction site on Friday.
It is the first time a high-profile official has shown concern over the construction of ICPs in the country.