KATHMANDU, APRIL 9
Despite completion of preparatory works, the railway service on Kurtha-Jayanagar route still seeks required laws for its operation.
While the railway track, constructed with the financial assistance from Government of India, had been completed last year, the train was brought six months back by the government for operation which still needs regulation.
Guru Bhattarai, General Manager of Nepal Railway Company Pvt Ltd, said the entire human resources, including technicians, were managed after the arrival of the train. He added that the railway service requires formulation of laws now.
The company stated that an agreement has already been reached with the Government of India for required technical human resources and to bring the rail engine. However, lack of legislation is hampering the process.
"We have not been able to bring in the engine due to lack of related laws. We will be in a position to bring the engine once the laws are passed," he said. "They (the Indian technicians and railway workers) are ready to come to Nepal. We can bring them immediately when required."
The train set was purchased from the Indian company, Konkon Company. It is said, 26 technicians are being brought from India in coordination with the company. They include pilot, station master, power manager, senior traffic manager, among others.
Director General Bhattarai said the Nepali staff and other technicians are already managed for the operation of the railway service. It has also been learnt the Armed Police Force (APF) would be responsible for safety and security of the rail and company's equipment and goods.
The company said discussions are underway between Nepal and India for joint inauguration of the railway service by the prime ministers of the two counties. As per the Railway Department, 1,200 to 1,300 passengers, including those seated and standing, can travel by the train.
"Decisions have already been made regarding the train fare and ticketing options," said Bhattarai. Travelling 35 kilometres will cost Rs 75 while that on a deluxe compartment would cost five times more than normal, according to the fare list.
"The company will soon provide a week-long training session to Nepali workers," further stated Bhattarai, adding that workers having a prior experience in the railway sector will be prioritised. "Regular operation will take place in two to three weeks."
The government has a plan to connect the railway to Bardibas where the proposed East-West railway will meet.
The government of Nepal brought two DEMU trains four months ago, each of which can accommodate from 1,200 to 1,300 passengers, according to the Department of Railway.
In 1984 BS, during the Rana regime, there had been a railway service available from Raxaul in India to Amlekhganj in Nepal, and Jayanagar-Janakpur railway service was in operation until 1994 BS.
Meanwhile, construction of the railway project from Kurtha to Bijalpura has reached its final stage, and will come into operation soon, said the Department.