KATHMANDU - China and Nepal agreed on Thursday to construct a frontier inspection station and facilitate resumption of Nepal-China border point, which has been closed after a devastating earthquake in 2015.
Amid a special function organized at Nepal"s Ministry of Finance in Kathmandu, the two neighbors signed an agreement on the Post-disaster Recovery for Tatopani (Zhangmu) Frontier Inspection Station Project.
The agreement was signed by Chinese Ambassador Yu Hong and Nepal"s Secretary at Ministry of Finance Shankar Prasad Adhikari. The support is under a 3-billion-Chinese yuan ($475 million) grant pledged by China during International Conference for Nepal"s Reconstruction in 2015.
The project includes repairing of buildings, establishing protection measures to prevent from secondary disasters, including debris flow and landslide, and improving trade clearance capabilities.
"The Chinese government has been making positive effort to reopen the Zhangmu port. We will carry out work of disaster treatment and road repair on the Chinese side. Considering the construction of border inspection station, both the countries have been discussing reconstruction of the border bridge," Ambassador Yu said.
Tatopani, known as Zhangmu port, was severely damaged in the 2015 earthquake and could not function because of geographical challenges. Since then, the Kerung port, also known as Rasuwagadhi, has been in operation for cross border trading and tourism.
The ambassador further informed that the Syaphrubesi-Rasuwagadhi highway repair and improvement project and Timure Frontier inspection station project will be started within this year.
"The China-Aid projects and the Cross Border Economic Zone will effectively enhance our infrastructure connectivity and increase trade flow under the framework of Belt and Road Initiative," she said.
Besides the border project, the two sides also signed agreement on "Hospital Recovery Project in Sindhupalchowk" and "Jiri Secondary School Reconstruction Project."
The government of Nepal expressed its appreciation to the Chinese government for the assistance and its continuous support for reconstruction of quake-hit Nepal.
Shankar Prasad Adhikari, Secretary at Ministry of Finance, said, "I am confident that the economic cooperation between Nepal and China will help especially to overcome our infrastructure bottleneck and improve connectivity."
Right after the earthquake, China had pledged to help Nepal with post-disaster reconstruction in five areas - infrastructure, livelihood recovery in hilly regions, cultural heritage renovation, capacity building of disaster prevention and health.
Up to now, 22 China-Aid projects have been already initiated and are in the process of implementation.