GANGTOK, May 2 � The border trade between the Indo-Tibetan Autonomous Region of China via Nathula Pass could not take place on the first day of this season which was to begin on May 1. The Nathula Trade was resumed in 2006 after a gap of 46 years to encourage only the traders from Sikkim and TAR to strengthen regional cooperation.
The first day of the trade could not be started on time due to road blockades caused by heavy rains and landslides in several places on the way to Sherathang Trade Mart on the morning of Thursday. As a result, the traders and officials from both the sides reached the trade mart four hours late.
The Border Road Organisation sources informed that the road was blocked at Thulo Khola at 13th Mile at JN Road which was cleared by the BRO for movement of vehicles though it was a restricted holiday for labourers on account of International Labour day.
As per the information of State Commerce and Industries department officials, almost 15 Indian traders could reach the trading Mart while only five traders from the Tibetan Autonomous Region reached the mart. The trade will continue till November 30 this year, on Mondays and Thursdays.
Sumitra Pradhan, Joint Secretary of the Commerce and Industries department who is also nodal officer of the border trade said in a press note that �Despite of heavy rains and huge falling boulders and heavy sludges, the JCB driver has managed to clear the road risking his life which was beyond the imagination of an ordinary person.� The opening of the trade on May 1 was attended by the PT Euthenpa, Secretary, Commerce and Industries, Bijendra Swaroop, Director and other officials from Customs, Army, ITBP and SIB and other agencies associated with the Nathula border trade.