Traders worried as Nepal-bound cargo piles up

Nepal-bound cargo is piling up in the Kolkata port while clearing and forwarding (C&F) agents, third party exporters and traders between the two neighbours are concerned over the near-stagnation of the movement of consumables.

The diplomatic confrontation between India and Nepal over the latter’s new Constitution has turned into a blame game over the pile-up of trucks carrying goods into Nepal at three critical checkpoints along the border.

The C & F agents have told The Hindu that more than 2,000 containers are lying on the Kolkata port compound and cannot move to the border areas as the movement of goods is “not picking up.” At least 4,000 to 5,000 containers are stranded in various entry points on the border, the C & F agents association said.

However, some of the stalled vehicles have moved over last 24 hours. Over 200 vehicles ferrying food and consumer goods and 22 fuel containers have crossed over to Nepal till Sunday afternoon, while 34 fuel carriers still await customs clearance.

Sixty-two vehicles loaded with cargo crossed the Panitanki-Kakarbhitta point along the India-Nepal border on Saturday, three of which carried third country imports. Till Sunday noon, 28 vehicles crossed the border at this point with an additional 142 vehicles crossing Bhairawa-Sunauli point on the same day. The Bhairawa-Sunauli crossing registered 42 vehicles with consumer and food items early on Sunday.

Additionally, a total of 16 LPG-loaded vehicles moved north through the Nepalgunj entry point in Bahraich district, Uttar Pradesh. Only 6 fuel tankers, including two LPG carrying vehicles, managed to enter Nepal at the Bhairawa-Sunauli crossing on Saturday.

However, top Nepalese importers told The Hindu that the situation was fast moving “from bad to worse” due to lack of fuel. “Hospitals, schools, government institutions are all shutting down and this is due to lack of petroleum products which mainly come from India,” said an importer, who made a huge loss over the last few days. Various associations of C & F agents in Kolkata are also incurring huge losses as the Nepal-bound goods are piling up in the Kolkata port.

One of the agents, who recently visited Nepal to have a word with the importers, said, they were “feeling nervous” about the mounting losses.

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Printable version | May 16, 2022 8:16:59 am |