Residents of Indian bordering town of Raxaul have threatened to prevent Nepal-bound cargo trucks from passing through the Indian customs point beginning December 25 if concerned authorities fail to come up with a solution to manage pollution created by transportation of clinker, a key raw material used in production of cement.
According to a report published in The Kathmandu Post, the campaign to completely halt cross-border vehicular movement is being led by Mahesh Agrawal, a local leader of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), who had offered food to protesters when they had organized a sit-in at Miteri Bridge in Birgunj in September 2015 that morphed into around five-month-long Indian trade blockade on Nepal.
The awareness campaign led by Agrawal has been informing people about health hazards created by transportation of clinker and drumming up support to halt movement of vehicles on the National Highway for an indefinite period of time beginning December 25.
Nepal’s clinker import from Birgunj customs point has been growing lately due to rapid hike in demand for cement, as post-earthquake reconstruction works are gathering pace.
The Kathmandu Post writes, most of the Nepali cement factories located at Bara-Parsa industrial corridor, which is in the vicinity of the Birgunj customs point, meet 80 to 85 percent of their clinker demand through imports from India.
Jharkhand and Odisha are two big sources of clinker for Nepal in India.The dust of clinker that blows in the air during the unloading process has affected residents of Tumeria Tole, Nepali Station and Pareuwa in Raxaul.