Kathmandu, May 6
The Indian government has submitted the pre-feasibility report of Kathmandu-Raxaul railway to Nepal with an aim to further conduct a feasibility and detailed project report of the project.
“The Indian government had submitted the report last week through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for further process,” informed a high-level source of the foreign ministry seeking anonymity.
“We have received the report and will soon forward it to Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers and the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport too,” the source said.
A joint engineering team of Nepal’s Department of Railways (DoRW) and the consultant team of Indian Railways had started conducting the pre-feasibility study of the project on June 8 last year. The team comprising of members of the technical teams of both Nepal and India has recommended that the project is feasible. However, the report is yet to be made public.
The joint team had conducted a study at the site where the Himal Cement Factory was located in Chobhar of Kathmandu and has made a proposal to build a railway station at the site.
Meanwhile, the government has put on hold the process to establish a company for construction of the railway project as the Indian government has provided assurances that it will build the railway project through its own resources.
During Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Nepal on May 11 and 12 last year, both the countries had agreed on effective implementation of the bilateral initiatives in agriculture, railway linkages and inland waterways development.
The Indian prime minister had assured that the entire cost to construct the railway project from Kathmandu to Raxaul would be covered by the Indian government, including establishment of an office, pre-feasibility study, detailed feasibility study (DFS), detailed project report (DPR) and as well as construction.
Balaram Mishra, director general of DoRW, said the works of the feasibility and detailed feasibility study will start by next fiscal year. “As per our plan, the construction of the project will start within the next two years.”
As per DoRW, the railway project will cover a total length of 113 kilometres and around 20 per cent of the railway line will comprise of tunnels and bridges.
The proposed route of the Kathmandu-Raxaul railway will start from Kathmandu and will pass along the Bagmati River all the way to Nijgadh. It will then be extended through Birgunj to Raxaul.
A railway track connecting Birgunj to Raxaul already exists, but it is yet to be used to transport passengers.
A version of this article appears in print on May 07, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.