Dry Ports To Have Gantry Cranes, Automated Gates

Stranded containers being loaded at the dry port in Birgunj, amid the unofficial blockade imposed by India at the border point, on Thursay, October 29, 2015. Photo: Ram Sarraf

Nepal Intermodal Transport Development Board (NITDB) is planning to set up modern technology like gantry cranes and automated gates at the dry ports that are in operation and being built, as well as truck tracking.
It is all set to install gantry crane at the Inland Clearance Depot (ICD) in Birgunj, one of the major international trade points at Nepal-India border. It would be the first of its kind technology in the country.
The board is in the process to hire a consultant to prepare concept design, detail technical specifications for gantry crane for procurement and supervise its installation at the Birgunj ICD. It had published a request for expression of interest on July 3, 2020 for the same.
A gantry crane is an overhead crane with girder set up that can move along a track or railway and can load and unload the containers.
“The NITDB plans to modernise the dry ports and in the first step, a gantry crane will be installed at the Birgunj ICD. The crane can pick the containers from the train and load in a truck,” said Ashish Gajurel, Executive Director of the Board.
Meanwhile, it is mulling to connect other dry ports with railway after which other facilities would also be created there.
According to Gajurel, other projects being planned are the installation of automated gates at Birgunj and Biratnagar dry ports while gantry crane like facility will be installed at the Chobhar Dry Port in Kathmandu. The facility would support in stacking the containers and goods in the warehouse.
The Chobhar Dry Port will be completed by the end of June this year. Currently, facilities like customs, quarantines and banks are being established there. Gajurel said that the board had also been discussing the operation modality of the port. Importers can make the customs clearance at Chobhar and need not reach the border point for the same.
The NITDB is giving the management and operation of the port to the private sector companies.
Built in 230 ropanis land at a cost of Rs. 1.7 billion loan from the World Bank, the dry port can accommodate 600 containers and 400 trucks. It will have three large warehouses.
Another dry port is being built at Timure, near the Rasuwagadhi border with China in Rasuwa district.
Currently, ICD and dry port at Birgunj, Biratnagar, Bhairahawa and Tatopani are in operation.
The NITBB is responsible for the regulation and management of the cross-border infrastructures like ICDs, dry ports, Container Freight Stations, ICPs, and collection and distribution centres.