Friday, May 25, 2007

FUNDS SANCTIONED FOR NATHULA INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT


GANGTOK, May 23: The Centre Government has approved an amount of Rs. 13 Crores, 42 lakhs as the first installment fund for infrastructure development for Border trade at the Nathula Post here in East Sikkim.

This amount has been sanctioned for the construction of a consolidated check post unit at Nathula.

This is in response to a proposal placed earlier by the Commerce and Industries, Department of Sikkim before the Centre Government for upgradation of the existing check post unit in Nathula. The Department had placed a proposal with an estimation of Rs. 24 Crores, 42 Lakhs for the project.

The Director, Commerce and Industries, SP Subba said that the first phase of the extension work will began once the tender process gets over, which will be carried out by the State Department of Housing and Building, which will also oversee the entire construction process.

There is already an existing single-storied structure at the Nathula Pass here, which is currently being used as a Check Post for traders from both sides of the fence. The structure houses temporarily houses the customs and immigration office and the Check Post unit of the Sikkim Police. The new building will be a three-storied structure. The ground floor will have a medical examination room, a quarantine room, a waiting hall, customs and immigration offices, toilet facilities and VIP rest rooms. A lodge with 16 double-bedded rooms and cafeteria exclusively for the use of traders and officials will also be part of the new complex.

An additional parking lot that will accommodate at least 30 large container trucks up to 8 mtr in length from either sides of the border will also be constructed at the Post. The proposed parking facility will be constructed in split levels in consideration of the terrain and available space. A cyber café will also come up at the Border Post.

The Project also incorporates site development, wall protections, internal electrification, internal water supply, sanitary installations, central heating, furniture and furnishing.

Mr. Subba said that the new complex will be a permanent feature and would be developed in phases.

In another development, the World Trade Center, Mumbai has reportedly shown a keen interest in the Border Trade and has placed a proposal before the State Government to set up a trade center in the State. This proposal is under consideration of the State Government.

Sources have indicated that the Centre may soon sanction funds for the expansion of trade mart at Sherathang, 6 kms ahead of Nathula Pass.