KATHMANDU: Nepal government has started a discussion with various stakeholders on the proposal sent by India to conduct the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the proposed Kathmandu-Raxaul Railway.
Sources at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) have confirmed that the proposal to conduct the DPR amid pandemic been forwarded to various consolatory mechanisms and stakeholders.
"It has been forwarded to Ministry of Health, COVID-19 Crisis Management Centre for further discussions seeking their suggestions to conduct the study amid the pandemic," one of the high officials at MoFA said.
The Indian government last month had sent the proposal to Nepal seeking permission to conduct a detailed study of Kathmandu-Raxaul Railway link. Konkan Railway Corporation has been proposed to conduct the DPR of the project.
Nepal and India had agreed to expedite the construction of the railway project connecting Kathmandu to Raxaul at the Nepal-India border.
The agreement was formalised after Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to this effect on the sideline of the 4th Summit of Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) held in Kathmandu on August 30-31, 2018.
The length of the Kathmandu-Raxaul electric railway will be 219 km with a double track and 135.87 km with a single track, according to the preliminary report. The report shows that 892 hectares of land including 13 stations and 39 tunnels will be required for the railway construction.
The Indian government in its budget for 2020-21 has allocated necessary funds for the construction of the project. The electric railway link is estimated to cost around Rs 300 billion. It will run from the site of the proposed second international airport in Nijgadh after passing through Jipur of Bara district.