For the past three years, the Tiptala pass along the Nepal-China border’s Taplejung district has been blocked. According to EPardafas, the Tiptala pass closure has put a strain on the residents in border regions financially and caused inconvenience. 

China shut down Tiptala Pass on the Nepal-China border three years ago as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. According to an EPardafas report, the closing of transit points has had a significant negative impact on the residents of Olangchung Gola, Yanga, and Ghunsa because these communities heavily rely on the importation of food items, clothing, and everyday necessities from the Tibetan Riu market.

After the closure of the border, people of the region have switched to the supply from Phungling, which is the district headquarters, as per the EPardafas report. The imports from the district headquarters have caused an additional financial burden on the people as it increased the transport cost. The iodized salt in Phungling is sold at Rs 30 per kilogram and it reaches Rs 100 after it is imported in Olangchung Gola.

The closure of the Tiptala pass has affected people’s socioeconomic life. Exports from the villages have been hampered. Olangchung Gola outgoing ward chair Chheten Sherpa has said that villagers before the pandemic used to supply medicinal herbs, Nepali carpets and livestock to Tibet. He said that the transport cost from Phungling to Olangchung Gola is at least Rs 60 per kilogram and it will increase if it needs to be transported up to Yanga, according ot the EPardafas report.

As per the news report, Yanga, Ghunsa, and Olangchung Gola are yet to be connected with a road network. Major occupations of the people in the region are animal husbandry, herb collection, and carpet production, as per the EPardafas report. 

According to the EPardafas research, residents used to supply dairy items like ghee and cheese from their homes before the border was closed. However, their industry has been significantly impacted, and the carpet industry has completely collapsed. 

According to a news article, farmers and suppliers in the Panchthar and Ilam areas collected therapeutic herbs that were sold to Tibet. Through the Birtamod of Jhapa, these two districts now provide therapeutic herbs to local markets. The citizens of Tiptala anticipate action from the government to reopen the border in order to restore normalcy to their lives.

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