Kathmandu-Raxaul to be linked via new railway line

KATHMANDU: With the objective of expanding connectivity to enhance people-to-people linkages and promote economic growth and development, the Prime Ministers of Nepal and India have agreed to construct a new electrified railway line, with India’s financial support, connecting the border city of Raxaul in India to Kathmandu in Nepal.

According to a press statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, today, it was agreed that the Government of India would, in consultation with the Government of Nepal, carry out preparatory survey work within one year, and the two sides would finalise the implementation and funding modalities of the project based on the Detailed Project Report. Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli gave assurance that the Government of Nepal would extend full cooperation for early completion of requisite surveys for the new railway line.

Both the prime ministers appreciated the progress made in the implementation of Phase-I of the Nepal-India cross-border rail link projects. The two leaders noted that the stretch of railway lines from Jayanagar to Janakpur/Kurtha and from Jogbani to Biratnagar Custom Yard would be completed in 2018, and that work on the remaining stretch of the ongoing rail link projects — Jayanagar-Bijalpura-Bardibas and Jogbani-Biratnagar — would be taken forward on priority.

India expressed appreciation for Nepal’s commitment to expeditiously resolve all outstanding issues, including land availability, for the ongoing rail link projects.

The statement also read that the India-Nepal Joint Working Group (JWG) has been meeting regularly to discuss issues relating to operation of train services on the ongoing cross-border rail link projects. It was agreed that the JWG would identify requirements for operating train services on these cross-border rail links, and finalise the bilateral modalities expeditiously.

The two leaders emphasised the importance of implementing the remaining three links under Phase-II of the India-Nepal cross-border rail link projects — New Jalpaiguri-Kakarbhitta, Nautanwa-Bhairahawa, and Nepalgunj Road-Nepalgunj.

Welcoming the ongoing Final Location Survey of the three links, the two leaders have agreed to expedite the completion of remaining survey work, the statement read.