Thinley Namgay

The construction of the integrated checkpost (ICP) at the international border in Gelephu has been deferred due to the ongoing Gelephu Mindfulness City (GMC) project.

Home Minister Tshering said this in response to the question from the Member of Parliament (MP) from Gelephu constituency Harka Singh Tamang on the status of the ICP construction during the National Assembly session on July 5.

MP Harka Singh Tamang said that while the plans and design for the ICP at the international border in Gelephu, which includes facilities for both trade and tourism, had been prepared quite some time ago, it has not been implemented yet.

Lyonpo said that the design of the ICP is ready, however, the construction of the ICP would be possible only after the completion of the GMC.

The project will have to be integrated and aligned with the GMC, Lyonpo said.

MP Harka Singh Tamang also suggested if the government could allow daytime visitors in Gelephu to visit Tshachu, Sershong Lhakhang, and Sarpang to boost the local economy.

Responding to the request to allow visitors beyond Gelephu town, Lyonpo said that it is currently not possible due to immigration rules and regulations. “It wouldn’t be fair to render such a privilege to the people of Gelephu alone, as residents of Samdrupjongkhar and Phuentsholing have also been making similar requests.”

The ICP is expected to improve the movement of goods between Bhutan and India and also assist international tourists who prefer to enter or exit through Gelephu.

ICP is considered effective for monitoring and controlling the movement of people and goods, as it is equipped with advanced modern facilities.

ICPs also bring together customs, immigration, and security officials within a single facility, enhancing coordination among these agencies in preventing illegal activities.