High-level Chinese technical team slated to visit next week

Kathmandu, October 31

The high-level technical team of the Chinese government is planning to visit Nepal to accelerate the Kyirong-Kathmandu-Pokhara-Lumbini Railway Project. The Chinese team will land here on November 6 for the site visit and hold discussions with government officials to advance the railway project.

The technical team will visit Rasuwagadi — the entry point from Kyirong to Nepal — Pokhara and Lumbini along with the representatives from the Department of Railways (DoRW).

According to Prakash Upadhyaya, spokesperson for DoRW, after visiting the project sites, the technical team will submit its technical report to the Chinese government to conduct further study of the project.

“After the technical team submits its preliminary report to the Chinese government, we will start a joint discussion for the feasibility study of the project,” Upadhyaya said.

According to him, the DoRW has continuously requested the Nepali Embassy in Beijing for the follow-up to implement the agreement regarding the railway project. “The Nepali embassy has played a vital role in communicating with the Chinese to visit Nepal and to draw their attention to the railway project,” he said.

Another technical team had arrived in Kathmandu for the preliminary study of the project a few days ago. The team currently in the country is in the process of visiting Kyirong and Rasuwagadi border point and will submit its report to the high-level team that is expected to arrive next month.

During the China visit of then prime minister KP Sharma Oli, the Nepal government and the government of China had agreed on economic and technical assistance for the railway project on March 21, 2016. Moreover, during the Nepal visit of Deputy Prime Minister of China Wang Yang in May this year, the Sino government had repeated its commitment to assist the project.

Though the DoRW has called Chinese team to study the project, the Ministry of Finance has yet to send a proposal to the Chinese government seeking investment for the project. “Till date there has been no progress with regards to bringing Chinese investment for the railway project,” said Yug Raj Pandey, undersecretary at the Ministry of Finance.