Nepal-China to talk about Kathmandu-Kerung railway Monday

Govt to rent trains to operate from Jayanagar to Kurtha

Nepali and Chinese officials will have a dialogue on Kerung-Kathmandu railway on Monday.

“We will have bilateral dialogue with Chinese railway administration officials on Monday. We will propose for additional study on Kerung-Kathmandu railway,” Secretary at the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport Madhusudan Adhikari told Setopati. “They may also have their proposals. We will also talk on them.”

The Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport and the Chinese railway administration have discussed on the preliminary study on the railway line at Xian, Chine from August 19-22.

An official with the ministry, who attended the meeting in Xian in August, said China is expecting Nepal to state the financial modality in which it wants the railway to be built. The Chinese side wants clarity on how Nepal wants to move forward but the government has not been able to decide about how much each side will invest.

“We can discuss about the financial modality later. We will urge for additional study now,” Secretary Adhikari said.

China Railway First Survey Design Institute Group had completed a week-long field study by May end. The report was handed over to the Nepali side on August 20. The report has put the estimated cost of 72.25-kilometer railway at Rs 257 billion and it will take nine years to complete it. But there has been little progress after that meeting in Xian.
Secretary Adhikari revealed that the Chinese officials will also conduct field study for Kathmandu-Pokhara-Lumbini railway this time.

The government, meanwhile, has decided to rent trains to operate on Jayanagar-Janakpur-Kurtha route despite Prime Minister (PM) KP Sharma Oli wishing to buy trains for operation as it would take time to buy trains, according to Adhikari.

A set of train to operate in the 35-kilometer Jayanagar-Kurtha route would cost around Rs 500 million, according to the Department of Railways which says at least two sets are necessary to start operation. “We need at least two sets as there should be another if there is problem in one,” Director General (DG) at the department Balaram Mishra said.



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