Nepal | November 15, 2019

Service commencement date pushed back


Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, November 6

Owing to the delay in construction of track of the 35-kilometre-long Janakpur-Jainagar railway line on the Indian side, the railway service from Kurtha of Janakpur to Jainagar of India has been pushed back by two months.

As per the earlier plan, the Department of Railways (DoRW) had said it would initiate the Nepal-India cross-border railway service by November 16.

After receiving the Cabinet’s go-ahead in January, the DoRW had even placed the purchase order for two railway wagons. The government has also provided an additional Rs 340 million on top of the allocated Rs 500 million to the DoRW’s line ministry — the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport — to procure the railway wagons this fiscal.

Balaram Mishra, director general of DoRW, informed that some parts of the railway track on the Indian side were swept away due to the monsoon floods. So, Indian Railway Construction Company — which is constructing the tracks — has asked for an additional two months to complete the project.

“We have paid 20 per cent of the total bill for railway wagons to India and the remaining amount will be paid after the delivery of the wagons,” he said.

On April 24, the department had formally started the process to revive the government-owned Nepal Railway Company, which has been inactive since 2014.

To operate the railway service, the DoRW has formally asked the government to provide 200 technical and non-technical staffers to revive the NRC.

The railway project is being developed under the grant assistance of the Indian government, which is providing technical and non-technical assistance to Nepal. The Indian government is covering the cost of developing the 69-kilometre-long Jainagar to Bardibas railway service, which is estimated to cost Rs nine billion.

A version of this article appears in print on November 07, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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