Locals of Olangchung Gola and surrounding villages are elated after receiving news that the Tiptala (Tipta La) Bhanjhyang will be reopened from 10th September. Closed owing to Covid-19 precautionary measures, locals from Olangchung Gola, Lelep and Ghunsa were suffering due to the closure. Before the pandemic, and since historic times, Tipta La Pass, also known as the Walung Chung Pass has been an important point of trade for the remote villages in Eastern Nepal. Nepalese traders sell their carpets and ghee (clarified butter) in the Chinese market and import salt, and other important food items such as rice and oil.
According to Tseten Sherpa (Walung) Ward Chair Phaktanglung Rural Municipality 07, “we had been requesting to open the border since as early as January. In May, 2023, a virtual meeting between Dinggye County and Taplejung District Administration office was organised as well. Last week, we received a phone call that the border shall be opened from 10th September. We are all very happy to hear the news”.
Tipta La is twenty five kilometres from Olangchung Gola, and Nepalis who live along the border region are able to travel up to Riwu in China after producing their Nepali citizenship along with an ID card issued by the Border Administration Office certifying they live along the border region.