India, Nepal to construct new railway link for smooth people-to-people transit

ANI | Updated: Apr 07, 2018 17:16 IST

New Delhi [India], Apr 7 (ANI): With the objective of expanding connectivity to enhance people-to-people linkages and promote economic growth and development, India and Nepal agreed to construct a new electrified rail line with India's financial support, connecting the border city of Raxaul in India to Kathmandu in Nepal.

As per a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs, it read, "As a first step, it was agreed that Government of India would, in consultation with the Government of Nepal, carry out a preparatory survey work within one year, and the two sides would finalize the implementation and funding modalities of the project based on the Detailed Project Report. The Prime Minister of Nepal, K.P. Sharma Oli, assured that the Government of Nepal will extend full cooperation for early completion of the requisite surveys for the new rail line."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Oli appreciated the progress made in the implementation of Phase-I of the India-Nepal 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 will be completed in 2018, and that work on the remaining stretch of the ongoing rail link projects - Jayanagar-Bijalpura-Bardibas and Jogbani-Biratnagar, will 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 two Prime Ministers noted with appreciation that the India-Nepal Joint Working Group (JWG) has been meeting regularly to discuss issues relating to the operation of train services on the ongoing cross-border rail link projects. It was agreed that the JWG would identify the requirements for operating train services on these cross-border rail links, and finalise the bilateral modalities expeditiously," the statement added.

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, India and Nepal agreed to expedite completion of the remaining survey work.

During the joint statement proceedings, Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Oli jointly inaugurated the Birgunj Integrated Check Post (ICP) through video conference from Hyderabad House in Delhi.

The Birgunj ICP will provide all necessary services including immigration, customs, quarantine, cold storage, banks and security check posts under one roof. Birgunj is also known as the Gateway to Nepal since more than 60 percent of trade activities of Nepal is done here.

The Nepal Prime Minister is currently on a three-day visit to India, having arrived on Friday. (ANI)