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Nepal unrest: Trucks stranded on Indo-Nepal border

7 km long jam of Indian trucks on the border

Virendra Singh Rawat  |  Lucknow 

Activists of the Madhesi group participate in a protest near the Constituent Assembly Hall in Kathmandu
Activists of the Madhesi group participate in a protest near the Constituent Assembly Hall in Kathmandu

Following the ongoing civil unrest in Nepal over the promulgation of new constitution, the trade and commerce has been severely hit along the Indo-Nepal border.

The grim ground situation could be gauged from the fact that trucks carrying goods from the Indian side to Nepal are stranded near Sunauli Indo-Nepal border post and the serpentine line already measures almost over 7 km. Sunauli is the main entry point from Uttar Pradesh to Nepal.

This situation pertaining to the movement of goods to-and-fro started to deteriorate over the week and promises to get worse if not resolved at the political level.

"There is massive jam of trucks near Sunauli, although the situation is under control," Nautanwan police station officer Ramayan Yadav told Business Standard over telephone from Maharajganj district bordering Nepal.

He informed only 10 trucks from India were being allowed entry in Nepal each day, which was causing the jam.

The trucks are loaded with goods and merchandise viz. food grain, medicines, spices, clothes, hosiery and other essential supplies. The truck drivers are understandably facing untold hardships for days now.

India also supplies petroleum products to Nepal, which has already started to feel the pinch of its shortage and prompting the government enforce rationing of petrol, diesel and domestic cooking gas. There are repots that Nepal is even considering importing petroleum products from China, which competes with India for offering assistance to Nepal for geopolitical reasons.

While, the Nepal security forces have restricted entries at some points, the truckers are also apprehensive of entering Nepal with goods-laden vehicles fearing violence.

UP Udyog Vyapar Pratinidhi Mandal president and former Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament Banwari Lal Kanchal said the continuing unrest had badly hit the smooth flow of goods to Nepal.

"The traders have taken hit of 50-75 percent due to the civil unrest and unofficial blockade in Nepal. We urge the Centre to intervene immediately and resolve the issue before it gets out of hand causing more losses to traders," he noted.

The genesis of the trouble is the new constitution, which the people inhabiting the Terai region adjoining UP and Bihar, have been fiercely opposing labelling it discriminatory. As against people in the hilly areas, those living in Nepal's Terai region, which constitutes roughly a fourth of the nation's geography, are referred to as Madhesis, who had orginially migrated from the neighbouring pockets of India.

Nepal shares about 1,700 km long international border with India adjoining the states of Uttarakhand, UP, Bihar, West Bengal and Sikkim. Seven UP districts viz. Pilibhit, Kheri, Bahraich, Sravasti, Balrampur, Siddharthnagar and Maharajganj are adjoining Nepal.

First Published: Mon, September 28 2015. 17:06 IST