India Nepal

India to build strategic railway link between Kathmandu and Raxaul in Bihar

India has agreed to build strategic railway link between Raxaul in Bihar and Kathmandu in Nepal to facilitate people-to-people (P2P) contact and bulk movement of goods.

Objective

The objective of this railway link is to expand “connectivity” between the two neighbours and “enhance people-to-people linkages and promote economic growth and development”.

Key Facts

The announcement was made today after delegation-level talks between Indian and Nepalese officials chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart K P Sharma Oli, who is on a three-day visit.

The the two prime ministers decided to build the new electrified rail line, which will be financed by India, hooking up the border city in India to Nepal, according to a statement issued by the federal government.

The two prime ministers appreciated the progress made in the implementation of Phase-I of the India-Nepal cross-border rail link projects.

Both leaders noted that the stretch of railway lines from Jayanagar to Janakpur/Kurtha and from Jogbani to Biratnagar Custom Lawn will be completed in 2018, and that work on the remaining stretch of the ongoing rail hyperlink projects- Jayanagar-Bijalpura-Bardibas and Jogbani-Biratnagar – will be taken forwards on priority.

As a first step towards building the railway connectivity, both edges agreed that India in discussion with Nepal will carry out preparatory study work within one year.

This will be followed by the finalization of the implementation and funding modalities of the project based on its detailed project report.

Significance

The proposal to link Raxaul to Kathamandu with railway collection comes nearly two years after China in March 2016, agreed to construct strategic railway hyperlink with Nepal through Tibet with apparent aim of reducing landlocked Nepal’s dependence on India for transit connectivity. It also comes in backdrop of recent Chinese linkages with Nepal as it got on building three highways to be completed by 2020.

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