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Kathmandu-Raxaul railway project in limbo

2021 Sep 13, 17:23, Kathmandu
Nepal Railway

Three years have passed since the preliminary study of the Kathmandu-Raxaul Railway construction project was carried out. However, the process for the construction of this project has not moved forward. The railway connects the country's capital with Raxaul of Bihar State in India. Although the preliminary study of this project has been done, it could not go forward for the construction as the two countries are yet to sign an agreement to that effect. Deepak Bhattarai, Director General of the Department of Railways, said the process would be forwarded for the construction of the railway project only after the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed by the Government of Nepal and the Government of India. According to him, the MoU is ready. "The MoU is ready for signing between the two countries at an appropriate time," he said. Director-General Bhattarai added that the Indian side had completed the preliminary engineering and traffic survey in 2018. As he said, although the first phase work of the project has been done however many important works have remained. "The final location survey would be done through the detailed study to be done now. But first, the two countries should sign MoU for this," he elaborated.

The Department said it is not immediately in a position to carry ahead works as the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport is in operation without a minister for nearly two months. A preliminary study shows that the railway will be 135 kilometres. Bhattarai said the amount of investment for the construction of the railway is not ascertained yet. According to him, the cost would be fixed after the detailed study. The modality of the investment is not yet clear. The railway project is expected to minimise transportation costs of supplies imported from India. The process to construct the East-West electric railway has been moved forward with the investments of the government itself. Likewise, as per the agreement between the governments of Nepal and India in 2012 to construct a railway at five different places in Nepal, two railway projects, one Kathmandu-Raxaul railway, and another Bathanaha-Biratnagar railway—are in the construction phase process. The construction of 10 kilometres out of 18-kilometres Bathanaha-Biratnagar railway has been completed so far, it has been said. The other three projects are yet to start. There had been a railway service between Raxaul and Amlekhgunj in 1984 BS during the Rana regime. Jayanagar-Janakpur railway service was also operational during 1994 BS.


Kathmandu Raxual KTM-Raxual Railway memorandum of understanding Engineer Survey MoU Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport india East-West electric railway Govt of Nepal Govt of India
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