Nepal Tibet border has been open in October after the area has been severely damaged in the April 25th earthquake. The highway wedged between steep mountainous landscapes became inaccessible with aftershocks and immediate monsoon rain. The unofficial blockade by India made China and Nepal side to hurriedly clear the highway.
However the highway hasn’t been approved for tourists to drive on. Travel permits are issued only for those flying in and out of Lhasa. While most of the tourists cancelled their Tibet trip after the closer of immigration, others rerouted via Hilsa (Simikot) in western Nepal.
It is expected that the road trip will resume for tourists by April.
Sun Lijun, the head of the port said that the port will see the boom after the drop in border trade following the earthquake. Nepal has been Tibet's largest trade partner since 2006.
Ariniko Highway to Tibet border is 130 km northeast of Kathmandu. In spite of uncongenial Himalayan landscape and fragile infrastructure, ‘Tatopani port’ (Jilong port) is the largest port linking Nepal and Tibet. Last couple of years, the tourism and foreign trade of Tibet have been dropped by more than 40 %. In 2014, the major landslide in Nepal swept the highway disrupting the traffic for months.
The border point of Rasuwagadhi Kerung was also opened in mid October after painstaking work of removing debris and repairing roads.
The closure of the two major Nepal-China border points since the earthquake has adversely affected bilateral trade. The unofficial blockade by India added to its owes. Officials are hopeful of bringing even petroleum and other essentials via this route.