Strike in Nepal affects movement of cargo from customs points

Last Updated: Tue, May 22, 2012 07:20 hrs

-ANI): Around 1000 vehicles carrying essential goods are stranded in the northern and southern border areas of Nepal due to general strikes called by various groups, compelling importers to pay extra cost, which will eventually be transferred to consumers, according to local media.

Cargo trucks are currently lying in the yard of Biratnagar Customs Office. Trucks that are carrying raw material for industries and fast moving consumer goods, are currently stuck in the customs office since the last five days, Binod Kunwar, chief of customs office, told Tuesday's Republica daily.

Similarly, imports from China have come to a complete halt and more than 60 containers are stranded in the yard of Tatopani Customs Office, while around 350 empty-containers are in the Birgunj inland containers depot (ICD). The containers that are stranded in the Birgunj ICD had brought iron, feeds and fast moving consumer goods.

"The empty containers which are on the property of Indian shipping companies charge 14 U.S. dollars per day," Rajan Sharma, president of Nepal Freight Forwarders' Association, told the daily.

Similarly, goods such as summer apparels and cosmetics that are imported from China are stuck in the Tatopani Customs Office. " More than a dozen containers are lying in the Tibetan territory of China," said officials at the Tatopani customs.

Importers, such as Arjun Sapkota, fear agricultural products, like fruits, imported from China might be ruined if they are not taken to the market in time.

Normal life across Nepal has been brought to a standstill on Monday, the second day of the three-day general strike called by various ethnic groups demanding ethnicity-based federalism in the new constitution.

As the deadline-May 27 -- of the constitution drafting draws near in the country, various groups are demanding their representation in the new constitution of which more focus is laid on the "autonomous regions" based on ethnicity and identity. (Xinhua-ANI)

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