China is allegedly using the traditional Indo-Nepal trade route to dump its low cost and less durable consumer goods in India.
Chinese products have a huge demand in the Indian market. They are very popular with people who wish to buy fake versions of their favorite brands at throwaway prices.
From electronic products like iPods and DVD players to warm clothes, porous borders like Soloni have become the hub for cheap Chinese goods.
Both local people and tourists flock to these borders to buy the desired products at lower prices. Low prices and attractive packaging are the major reasons behind the growing popularity of Chinese goods in India.
"I have come to Gorakhpur for shopping. Here we can get good looking branded stuff for less price. I am aware that the products available here are made in China but the look is so good that I want to buy them," said Kamal a customer.
"Apart from shoes, items like warm clothes, electronic items like digital video players and I-pod etc are available here at cheap prices. I know that the life expectancy of Chinese products is low but I buy them as they fulfill my desire of owning a branded product," he added.
Smugglers take advantage of the easily accessible Indian-Nepal border to smuggle Chinese goods and products to India. They even use the improper routes leading to India in order to avoid the custom duty officers located at the borders.
Custom duty officers not inspecting the luggage of the tourists properly and local people helping smugglers in greed for money are the reasons that drive smuggling the most in this area.
According to Gorakhpur's custom officer, Satpal Yadav: "An individual is allowed to carry personal consumption goods worth Rs 25,000 each time he comes to India from Nepal. The individuals who know this fact often misuse it. Some people come in large groups of 8 to 10 people and while traveling in public transports they divide the goods among themselves with each person carrying two goods each and thus they make it difficult for officials to detect whether the goods carried are meant for personal use or for smuggling purpose."
"Smuggling of Chinese goods is a bane for both India and China. This illegal act is dampening the Indian market, as with the increase in foreign products the consumption of homemade products would lower, thus creating huge losses for the nation on the whole," he added.