Nepal signs agreement to procure rail sets from IndiaAccording to Madhusudan Adhikari, secretary at the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, the first set will arrive within three months and the other a month thereafter.
The Department of Railway signed an agreement with India’s Konkan Railways Corporation Ltd on Friday to supply two Diesel Electric Multiple Unit train sets for passenger service from Kurtha of Janakpur to Jaynagar of India.
This, and the ongoing track-laying works, revive hopes of resuming the operation of Nepal's only rail service. With the agreement, rail operation will begin on the Kurtha-Jaynagar railroad within the next five months.
In March, the government had permitted the Department of Railways to procure two railway sets from India, including power car. Nepal had approved Rs846.5 million in the first phase for the purchase of trains from the Indian government undertaking.
Each of the rail sets will have five cars, with the capacity to host upto 1,300 passengers.
According to Madhusudan Adhikari, secretary at the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, the first set will arrive within three months and the other a month thereafter.
Considered a time saver in short travel, the DEMU goes at around 100 km per hour.
Adhikari, however, pointed to other problems. “We do not have railway pilots. We do not have trained manpower and a working manual yet,” he said. “So in the initial days, we will have to hire or take support from the Indian side to address these shortcomings.”
The project is divided into three segments. The first phase involves construction of a 35km segment between Jaynagar and Kurtha; the second is constructing a 17km segment from Kurtha to Bhangaha; and the third constructing a 17km segment from Bhangaha to Bardibas, Mahottari.
Construction of the line from Jayanagar, of India, to Kurtha, Nepal—through Inaruwa, Khajuri, Mahinathpur and Dueriparawaha—has been completed along with the test drive.
He said the construction of the stretch from Kurtha, of Dhanusha, to Bhangaha, of Mahottari, is currently under way. The 69km Janakpur-Jayanagar-Kurtha railway line has been built at a cost of Rs8.8 billion, with support from the Indian government. The Indian Railway Construction Company Limited implements the project.
Construction of the railway started in 2010, with a plan of completing the first phase of works by the end of 2018.
The railway service between Janakpur-Jaynagar was suspended four years ago. This track was built nearly 80 years ago, when India was still under the British colonial rule, to transport timber from the forests of Mahottari to India. The cross-border line spanned 52 km from Bijulpura in Mahottari to Jaynagar in Bihar at that time.