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China-India border trade for this year begins

PITHORAGARH: Border trade between India and China from the 17,500 feet high Lipulekh pass, on since 1991, began for this year with a six member team of Indian traders crossing the pass on July 19 and reaching the Tibetan mart of Taklakot on Sunday.

Following entry into 
Tibet of the six member trade team that included Jewan Singh Ronkali, Vinod Garbyal and Kharak Singh Budiyal, Indo-Tibet border trade for this year has virtually begun, said an ITBP commandant. 

He said the ITBP has opened its office for checking inner line passes of traders at Nabhidhank and Kalapani camps. 

This is because the route to Chiyalekh office, from where the office functioned till last year, has become inaccessible since June 19 when rains lashed the routes, he said. 

According to the trade office in Dharchula in Pithoragarh district, another batch of 12 member team of traders is waiting to enter Tibet after they reached there by helicopters last week. 

"...As the route downwards Gunji was clear, they were lifted by helicopters to Gunji to collect their goods there," said Pramod Kumar, SDM of Dharchula and trade officer designated for this year's India-China border trade. 

The India-china border trade, which was resumed in the year 1992, after remaining suspended for over 30 years, begins from June 1 every year. This year it has been delayed due to heavy rains which affected the route to Gunji from Base trade office at Dharchula. 

The volumes this year could be limited due to the delay in start of trade, said a trade officer at Dharchula.