Kathmandu, December 11

The government has proposed to the Chinese government to conduct the detailed project report (DPR) of the much-hyped Kathmandu-Kyirong, Kathmandu-Pokhara, and Pokhara-Lumbini electric railways at its own cost.

The government has also asked the visiting Chinese team to conduct the detailed engineering report of the project.

According to Madhusudan Adhikari, secretary at the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport (MoPIT), the Chinese officials are positive about the government’s proposal.

Government authorities of both the nations started talks on the railway projects in the Capital on Monday. Discussions will be held till Thursday.

A 15-member Chinese team led by An Leshene, deputy minister for National Railway Administration of China, had arrived in Kathmandu on Sunday evening for the talks.

The Chinese team has handed over the initial feasibility report to the government as well. According to Adhikari, both the teams have started conducting an in-depth review of the project and the project will be accelerated as per plan.

Adhikari further informed that a joint team of Nepali and Chinese officials has inspected the Kathmandu-Rasuwagadhi rail alignment today.

A joint study team comprising Chinese officials, an engineering team from Chinese consulting firm — China Railway First Survey and Design Institute Group, officials from MoPIT, engineers from the Department of Railways (DoRW) of Nepal, and a local consultant are holding discussions on the project.

Earlier, a joint team comprising the Chinese consultant and Nepali consultant had submitted the pre-feasibility report of the railway project on August 10. The report had stated that the railway project is ‘feasible’. Since then, both the nations have already held two rounds of discussions.

As per the pre-feasibility study of the Kathmandu-Kyirong section, the project is estimated to cost about Rs 275 billion, according to an initial field study conducted last November by a Chinese technical team. The study had further mentioned that around 98.55 per cent section of the railway would be covered by tunnels and bridges.

However, the cost and other issues of Kathmandu-Pokhara and Pokhara-Lumbini sections have not been estimated yet.

Adhikari has stated that though the project is highly complex and challenging and not bankable, both Nepal and China have expressed their commitment to build it at any cost.