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Economic cost of blockade much more than impact of quake: Nepal

Nepal on Wednesday said it is reeling under a major humanitarian crisis due to the four-month-long blockade along the border with India, the economic cost of which is much more than that of the impact of the devastating quake and assured that grievances of the agitating Madhesis are being addressed to on a fast-track mode.

Nepal Ambassador Deep Kumar Upadhyay said it was not practically possible to bring oil, gas and other essential commodities through China as was explored earlier due to difficult connectivity and high cost and India must ensure supplies to the land-locked country.

“Enough is enough... It is very easy to set fire but difficult to douse it. We will do everything possible to fulfil the aspirations of all sections of the population,” the envoy said while expressing his “deep pain” for people of Nepal.

On demands of Indian-origin Madhesis from Terai region, he said, “We cannot change mathematics. Nobody likes to play a losing game.” 

He said Nepal has become a den of smugglers and middlemen in the wake of the blockade. “Fulfilling aspirations of all sections of people is the responsibility of Nepal’s Parliament and government. We will do it. For certain amendments, we will need two-thirds majority,” he said. 

He added: “We may have made some wrong decision. But we will make every effort to correct it.” 
Sounding critical of India, he said the Madhesis have only blocked the Birgunj-Raxaul trading point along Indo-Nepal border and supplies can be sent through six other points.
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