Indian railway minister returns home

Kathmandu, February 20

Indian Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, returned home today after completing his the three-day visit to Nepal.

According to a press release issued by the Embassy of India here today, the Indian Minister  held meetings with President  Bidhya Devi Bhandari,  Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, ministers, Nepali business leaders,  MPs, political leaders, industry heads, and NGOs’ representatives and discussed a wide range of infrastructure development issues.

During his meeting with President Bhandari, the head of state said that Nepal-India relations were like nail and skin, inseparable from each other and no one could damage this relation, according to the release.

She further stated that at its root, Nepal and India belonged to one family and these ties were more important than government to government ties.

During  Minister Prabhu’s   meeting with PM Dahal,  various ideas on financing of infrastructure projects, climate change and project monitoring mechanisms were discussed.   Prabhu assured the Dahal of India’s cooperation in Nepal’s infrastructure development.

During the visit, Ambassador of India Shri Ranjit Rae handed over a letter of Indian commitment of a soft loan of US$ 340 million for one bridge and 15 road projects in Nepal, to Minister of Physical Infrastructure and Transport Ramesh Lekhak, in the presence of the Railway Minister.

In his keynote address at the Nepal Infrastructure Summit,   Prabhu said that India would create a cross-border rail connectivity as soon as possible in order to establish a link between Kathmandu with two Indian cities — New Delhi and Kolkata, in a bid to strengthen cross-border connectivity and facilitate movement of people between the two countries.

The Minister also stated that this could happen as soon as Nepal signed the MoU for engineering surveys.

Minister  Prabhu also stated that India was ready to share its drone technology and experience with Nepal for project monitoring, according to the release. Prabhu stated that infrastructure was a pre-requisite for higher economic growth and urged the government and the private sector of Nepal to ramp up investment in construction of physical infrastructure.

During his meetings with Nepali leaders Prabhu talked about economic development in India and stated that India’s GDP would increase from $2.5 trillion to 5 trillion in seven years and to $10 trillion in another seven years.

Prabhu also held meetings with Minister of Physical Infrastructure and  Transport  Ramesh Lekhak, Civil Aviation, Culture and  Tourism Minister Jiwan Bahadur Shahi and Energy Minister  Janardan Sharma among others.

The Minister of Railways had a ‘Road Ahead Interaction’ with young entrepreneurs of Nepal in which he commented that this was a  time of great opportunities and shared his vision of a prosperous region, according to the release .

Prabhu had arrived on a three-day visit to Kathmandu on February 18 at the invitation of the Confederation of Nepalese Industries to participate in the Nepal Infrastructure Summit 2017.

India’s assistance

  • India commits soft loan of US$ 340 million for one bridge and 15 road projects in Nepal
  • Cross-border rail connectivity to link Kathmandu with New Delhi and Kolkata
  • India ready to share drone technology for project monitoring