Kathmandu, November 24
A team comprising of senior Chinese government officials will be arriving in the Capital on Monday for the fifth meeting to hold discussions on the detailed engineering report and detailed project report (DPR) of the much-hyped 75-kilometre-long Trans Himalayan Kathmandu- Kyirong railway with Nepali government officials. The talks will begin on Tuesday.
Balaram Mishra, director general of the Department of Railways (DoRW), informed that the secretary of the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport and vice chairman of the National Railways Administration of China will be leading the respective delegations in the meeting.
Mishra informed that the meeting will particularly focus on preparing the DPR of the project. “We have plans to take forward the project to the next level. I believe that both the governments will finalise and agree to prepare the DPR and also ink the implementation agreement,” he added.
China Railways First Survey and Design Institute Group, a Chinese firm, has already completed pre-feasibility works of Kathmandu-Kyirong, Kathmandu-Pokhara and Pokhara-Lumbini rail networks last year.
During Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Nepal on October 12-13, 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.
Former minister of physical infrastructure and transport Raghubir Mahaseth and China’s Minister of Transport Li Xiaopeng had earlier signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation for the cross-border railway link in Beijing on June 21 last year.
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.