Nepal | May 30, 2020

Broad gauge railway construction delayed

Himalayan News Service
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Janakapurdham, February 19

Construction of broad gauge railway from Bardibas to Jaynagar has been delayed due to the prolonged Tarai agitation and months’ long blockade at border entry points.

According to Kalika Raman Construction, the contractor for the project, it is impossible for them to complete the project within the stipulated time as they had to halt works during the Madhes agitation.

“We were compelled to halt construction for more than six months due to the Tarai agitation,” said Balaram Mahato of the construction company, adding, “It may take more than a year for us to complete the project as we have just begun construction works.” The contractor is supposed to construct 69 km broad gauge railway in three phases.

Binod Kumar Ojha, site engineer at the Department of Railways, said construction of bridges and culverts is under way. “Construction works have been expedited in a bid to complete the project as early as possible,” said Ojha. Construction of the broad gauge from India’s Jaynagar to Mahottari’s Bardibas under way with financial support from India.

Though first-phase construction has been completed, second-phase construction works are under way. According to project officials, third-phase construction works would take longer. Track along the Jaynagar-Kapileshwor section has been completed in the first phase, while construction of the track along the Kapileshwor-Bijalpura section is currently underway.

Railway service started using timber in Nepal in 1937 and later Indian government replaced it with coal. Diesel was used as fuel but it could not work effectively for long.

Indian contractor company Eruction has been monitoring construction of the broad gauge railway.

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