Pithoragarh: The Nepalese government has decided to not reopen the border with India for at least another month, citing the Covid-19 pandemic. Sources, citing a Nepalese government decision taken in this regard a few days ago, said that it has been decided to let the border remain closed till December 15. Earlier, the border was expected to open on November 15.
India and Nepal have around 20 entry points along the border of which seven are in Uttarakhad. All these points are closed since March 25 when the lockdown began. Occasionally, a few of these posts are opened on special circumstances as was done recently when Nepalese pensioners of the Indian Army were allowed to enter India to withdraw their pension from the State Bank of India.
Meanwhile, the news of the border not reopening till at least a month was met by dismay from residents of areas near the border.
“In the wake of the festive season, we were hoping that the border check-points will be opened in November so that normalcy can resume and people can travel and do business,” said Sanjay Agarwal, a businessman from Banbasa in Champawat district. He added that business activities along the Nepal border have “totally collapsed due to the border being sealed since the business was dependent mainly on Nepalese customers.” “Indian traders have been unable to go to Nepal to collect their money in the last seven months and our losses are constantly mounting,” Agarwal said.
In a similar vein, Pramod Kumar, a trader of Jhulaghat, said, “People living on both sides of the border had been requesting to open the border so that normal movement can resume, but there is a sense of disappointment that the border will remain closed for another month.”
Puspha Devi, a Nepalese national married to an Indian, who is staying in Pithoragarh, added, “My maternal home is in Nepal and I was hoping that the border will open on November 15 and I will be able to go to Nepal to see my parents but I am disappointed that my wait has become longer.”



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