First Business News Portal in English from Nepal
KATHMANDU: India has sought permission from Nepal to conduct a detailed study of the Raxaul-Kathmandu rail link without any delays. A proposal sent by the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu to the government has promised to follow all necessary health and safety protocols amid the COVID-19 pandemic while carrying out the study.
Konkan Railway Corporation, an Indian government owned company headquartered in Navi Mumbai, will conduct the detailed study of the project.
“The Indian team is ready to come to Nepal whenever we ask them to do so. They have also sent us the details of machinery and other logistics they will be bringing along with them when they come for the study. We have asked them to send the names of the people along with their designations again,” informed Balram Mishra, director general of Department of Railways.
“The situation now is not favorable like in the previous days as there is a risk of COVID-19 infection. Despite the grim situation, the Indian side is ready to conduct the study. They will send us the details within a week in the format we have asked them for,” Mishra added.
The details received will be sent to the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transportation, after which it will be forwarded to the Ministry of Home Affairs and then to the COVID-19 Crisis Management Committee, which will give the final decision about their arrival.
“We have to follow all the required COVID-19 guidelines as the situation is precarious at the moment,” Mishra said. A rail line is already operational on the Indian side and extends up to the dry port of Raxaul and India plans to link it up to Kathmandu.
The new rail link will run along the side of the proposed second international airport at Nijgadh after traversing through Bara’s Jitpur. The total length of the rail line is expected to be 136 kilometres, out of which 42 kilometres will pass through a tunnel. It is expected to cost about Rsthree trillion.
“The final cost of the project will be ascertained only after the Detailed Project Reportis finalized. It can increase or decrease by some percent. It will take us at least a year to complete the study,” Mishra said.
Nepal and India had signed a deal to conduct a feasibility study of the Kathmandu-Raxaul rail link during the 4th BIMSTEC Summit held at Kathmandu in 2018. The investment modality of the project is yet to be finalized. Earlier, the Indian government had submitted the project’s feasibility report to the government.
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