Fri, 31 Mar 2023

Kathmandu [Nepal], January 28 (ANI): Tiptala pass along the Nepal-China border in the Taplejung district has remained closed for three years. The closure of the Tiptala pass has been causing inconvenience to the people living in border areas and putting an additional financial burden on them, EPardafas reported.

Tiptala pass along the Nepal-China border was closed by China due to the COVID-19 pandemic three years back. People of Olangchung Gola, Yanga, and Ghunsa have been impacted majorly by the closure of transit points as they majorly depend on the imports of food products, garments, and daily consumables from the Tibetan Riu market, according to EPardafas report.

After the closure of the border, people of the region have switched to the supply from Phungling, which is the district headquarters, as per the EPardafas report. The imports from the district headquarters have caused an additional financial burden on the people as it increased the transport cost. The iodized salt in Phungling is sold at Rs 30 per kilogram and it reaches Rs 100 after it is imported in Olangchung Gola.

The closure of the Tiptala pass has affected people's socioeconomic life. Exports from the villages have been hampered. Olangchung Gola outgoing ward chair Chheten Sherpa has said that villagers before the pandemic used to supply medicinal herbs, Nepali carpets and livestock to Tibet. He said that the transport cost from Phungling to Olangchung Gola is at least Rs 60 per kilogram and it will increase if it needs to be transported up to Yanga, according ot the EPardafas report.

As per the news report, Yanga, Ghunsa, and Olangchung Gola are yet to be connected with a road network. Major occupations of the people in the region are animal husbandry, herb collection, and carpet production, as per the EPardafas report. Prior to the closure of the border, the people used to supply dairy products such as ghee and cheese from their houses, as per the EPardafas report. However, their trade has been majorly affected and the carpet business is totally down.

Furthermore, medicinal herbs gathered by farmers and suppliers in Ilam and Panchthar districts were exported to Tibet, as per the news report. These two districts now supply medicinal herbs to domestic markets through the Birtamod of Jhapa. The people in Tiptala expect the government to take measures to reopen the border to normalize their life. (ANI)

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