Chinese government agrees to prepare the report free of cost
Kathmandu, November 26
The Chinese government has agreed to prepare the detailed project report (DPR) and detailed engineering works of the much-hyped 75-kilometre-long Trans-Himalayan Kathmandu-Kyirong railway project from the beginning of 2020.
During the fifth meeting held between the concerned government officials of both the countries, the Chinese team agreed to prepare the DPR. The Nepali delegation was led by Devendra Karki, secretary of Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport and the Chinese delegation was led by An Lusheng, deputy director of the National Railway Administration.
“We have classified the works into various segments and assigned the responsibility to complete the works,” said Karki.
“We have also agreed to conduct the DPR, detailed engineering and environment impact assessment (EIA) works simultaneously,” he added.
As per the agreement, China will conduct the DPR and other engineering works and Nepal will provide support for the EIA preparation works. Similarly, the Nepal government will provide necessary security for Chinese officials while conducting engineering works on Nepal side.
Karki further said that the Chinese government will conduct the DPR free of cost.
“We have agreed to conduct the preparatory works of the project as per the agreement made by the heads of both the nations last month,” he said, adding that now the works will be expedited as per the commitment made by the heads of both the nations.
As per Karki, China Railways First Survey and Design Institute Group, a Chinese firm, will do the DPR, EIA and other necessary engineering works. It has already completed pre-feasibility works of Kathmandu-Kyirong, Kathmandu-Pokhara and Pokhara-Lumbini rail networks last year.
“In the first phase, the Chinese company will start works for the Kathmandu-Kyirong section and will gradually work for the Kathmandu-Pokhara and Pokhara-Lumbini sections of the railway project.
During Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Nepal on October 12 and 13, both the governments had inked a memorandum of understanding on Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network with a view to contributing to Nepal’s development, including cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to enhance connectivity.
In June, the fourth meeting of the Joint Steering Committee was held in Beijing. In that meeting, both the governments had agreed to simultaneously accelerate works on the detailed feasibility study and DPR of the project.
China had conducted a pre-feasibility study at its own cost and submitted the report on the Kathmandu-Kyirong rail network to Nepal in August last year. The study had concluded that the project was feasible and would cost around Rs 257 billion.
A version of this article appears in print on November 27, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.