Kathmandu, March 21
The Cabinet meeting held today has permitted the Department of Railways (DoRW) to begin the purchase of two DEMU (Diesel Electric Multiple Unit) trains for passenger service from Kurtha of Janakpur to Jaynagar of India.
The Cabinet has approved Rs 846.5 million in the first phase for the purchase of the trains from Konkan Railways Corporation Ltd, an undertaking of the Indian government.
Prior to this, the Cabinet meeting held on January 13, had accepted the proposal of the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport and another Cabinet meeting on January 17 had authorised the ministry to purchase the trains. Each train will have five carriages attached and the capacity to carry around 1,300 passengers per trip. The trains have the capacity to travel at around 100 km/hr. It has been considered to be a time saving transportation for short distance travel.
After receiving a written letter from the government, DoRW will send a request letter to Konkan for rail procurement agreement, said Balaram Mishra, director general of DoRW.
“Once we receive a written letter of the decision taken by the Cabinet we will immediately send a request letter to the Indian company for the procurement process,” he said.
According to Mishra, it will take at least three months to receive delivery of the trains from the Indian company once the DoRW forwards the request letter.
Meanwhile, DoRW has already completed all the necessary preparations. “If we receive the written letter by Friday we will send the request letter to the Indian company immediately tomorrow,” he said, adding, “After that it may take around three months to receive the trains.”
Mishra further said that the new railway service will reduce the time of travel from Kurtha to Jaynagar.
“It will take around 45 minutes to one hour for the train to reach Kurtha from Jaynagar with stops in six stations in between,” he added.
In the first phase the Department of Railways will operate two trains for this route. Later, looking at the market demand the department will decide whether to add more trains, he added. The total length of the Kurtha-Jaynagar route is 69 kilometres.
A version of this article appears in print on March 22, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.