Kathmandu, November 30
The Janakpur-Jayanagar Railway — the only railway service of the country — is all set to restart operations by December. The railway, which had remained non-functional for the last four years, will resume its service after completion of the reconstruction works.
“The final test operation of the 35-kilometre-long Janakpur-Jayanagar railway was conducted successfully last month. Prior to conducting the final test, the railway had conducted several test operations,” said Balaram Mishra, director general of the Department of Railways (DoRW).
Mishra further informed that there would be no trouble in resuming the railway service after the final test was successfully completed. “There was a huge crowd of spectators to observe the test operation of the only railway service that connects Nepal (Janakpur) and India (Jayanagar),” he said.
The test operation was conducted by DoRW under the direct supervision of the Ministry of Railways, India, to bring Nepal’s only railway service back to service. The Janakpur-Jayanagar railway service had been discontinued for the past four years.
“We are ready to relaunch the railway service by the last week of December and almost all preparations have been completed,” mentioned Mishra.
According to Mishra, a joint team led by Secretary of the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport Madhusudan Adhikari and compromising officials from the ministry, DoRW and also representatives from the Ministry of Railways, India, had visited the railway project last week to oversee the preparations for the relaunch.
The team had also visited Mumbai and Goa to get necessary details regarding operations of the railway service there so as to incorporate those findings in the railway service in Janakpur. As per an agreement between Nepal and India, the service will be relaunched through the wet lease model whereby India will be providing the necessary facilities. The railway will be handed over to Nepal after a certain period of time and then after Nepal will have to run the service itself.
Maintenance works on the railway project had started in 2014. The initial narrow-gauge track has been replaced by
a broad-gauge railway. The Janakpur-Jayanagar rail service has been reconstructed with Indian assistance of Rs seven billion.
A version of this article appears in print on December 01, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.