Chinese team conduct Pokhara-Ktm railway studyA visiting Chinese delegation conducted a study in Pokhara on Wednesday to determine the viability of building a railway network to link Pokhara with the Capital.
A visiting Chinese delegation conducted a study in Pokhara on Wednesday to determine the viability of building a railway network to link Pokhara with the Capital.
The 23-member team led by the Deputy Director (Vice-Minister) of National Railway Administration of the People’s Republic of China, Zheng Jian, arrived in Kathmandu on Monday. The team has been conducting preliminary studies on the development of railway networks in the country. The team also consists of officials from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Railway Administration of the People’s Republic of China, consultants, railway experts and contractors among others.
During their stay, the Chinese team is scheduled to visit Kerung, Pokhara and Lumbini to conduct preliminary studies on two major railway routes: Kathmandu-Kerung and Kathmandu-Pokhara-Lumbini.
Prakash Upadhyaya, a senior divisional engineer in the Railway Department at the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, said the Chinese team has conducted the field survey on the topographical structure along the proposed Kathmandu-Pokhara railway route. A similar baseline survey had been conducted along this route in the past.
“Based on the study, the Chinese team is set to finalise an outline on construction costs and the infrastructure design,” Upadhyaya said.
The railway line could be constructed along Kathmandu-Galchhi segment of the Prithvi Highway, while the rest of the proposed route could be connected with Tokha. The total length of the proposed railway line will be 187 km. The speed of the proposed railway is estimated to be 200 km per hour. Upadhyaya said the Chinese delegation appeared positive on constructing the railway line. He added: “However, they have yet to confirm whether China will be providing funds to build the infrastructure.”
The Chinese team will be visiting Lumbini on Thursday. The northern neighbour is also said to have developed a conceptual framework on constructing a railway line to link Mugling and Lumbini. Currently, railway construction is ongoing at Jogbani-Biratnagar, Jayanagar-Janakpur-Bardibas segments with support from India, while the government itself is building the 30-km Bardibas-Lalbandi route.
The department has also been conducting a field survey for the expansion of railway network in the western region. The proposed railway line has been divided into four parts: 115-km Butwal-Lamahi; 102-km Lamahi-Kohalpur, 95-km Kohalpur-Sukhad and 94-km Sukhad-Gaddachauki.