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Indo-Nepal trade treaty to be amended to include Waterways as mode of cargo transport

India has identified three waterways in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh to speed up movement of cargo to Nepal from Kolkata Port ,Mr Pravir Pandey, Chairman of Inland Waterways Authority of India said.

Currently the Treaty recognizes only two modes of transport: road or rail

The routes identified are Kolkata-Sahebganj by waterway and then to Nepal’s Biratnagar by road; Kolkata-Kalughat near Patna by waterway and then to Birgunj by road; and Kolkata-Varanasi by waterway and then to either Nepalganj or Mahendra Nagar by road.

Currently, the cargo that comes to Kolkata or Vizag has to go by road or rail to Nepal. This is because the Trade Treaty between India and Nepal recognizes only these two modes of transport. The clause is being amended to include Waterways to Nepal

The Treaty to be amended to include Waterways also

The 1991 Indo Nepal Treaty of Trade and Transit will be amended soon to include Waterways as a mode of cargo transport as the treaty allows cargo movement through road and railways between the two nations at present

Other than the three waterways, Nepal government has requested India to explore the possibility of whether the Gandaki river could also be used as Waterway as the river flows right up to the border of the two countries.

Nepal used to face serious problem in getting cargo cleared from Kolkata port, the only port in the country authorized to handle transit cargo from Nepal. Because of the bottlenecks faced in the transportation from the Kolkata Port system, the ministry permitted Visakhapatnam port few years ago to handle transit cargo from and to Nepal.

As China opens up to Nepal border points India has to improve connectivity to Nepal

With China opening up to Nepal border points, India is also stepping up connectivity projects to Nepal so that cargo for the Himalayan country continued to be routed through India.

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