The first passenger train to run on broad gauge between India
and Nepal is likely to run from December this year, suggest media reports. The
train will run from Jayanagar in Bihar to Kurtha in Dhanusa district in
Janakpur Zone of south-eastern Nepal, which is a 34 km stretch.
An immigration check-post is likely to be established at
Jayanagar station manned by either the Bureau of Immigration or the state
government. No visa will be required for Indian and Nepalese nationals crossing
the border through this stretch, according to reports.
The Nepalese authorities have informed the railways that the
section will be opened with four trips and will ply in eight to 16 hour shifts.
The Nepalese authorities have informed the railways that the section will be
opened with four trips and will ply in eight to 16 hour shifts.
While the first train is to be a passenger train, the Nepalese
have stated that they want to run both passenger and freight trains on this
section. Nepal will take rolling stock — rakes, coaches and others — on lease
from India for the purpose, state reports.
The ministry of external affairs has had several inter-ministerial meetings
with the railways, government of Nepal and other stakeholders on this. More
meetings to finalise logistics are likely to take place.
The move is being seen as part of efforts to counter China's
plans to forge rail links with Nepal. After Beijing decided to extend its
railway network up to Kathmandu, New Delhi proposed the construction of new
railway links during Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli's recent visit to India.
Nepal and India have plans for four cross-border railway links,
including one to link Raxaul to Kathmandu. The Rs 5.5-billion (Nepalese Rs 8.8
billion) project is divided into three phases. The first includes construction
of a 34-km segment between Jayanagar and Kurtha, the second comprises
construction of an 18-km segment from Kurtha to Bhangaha in Mahottari district,
and the third comprises construction of a 17-km segment from Bhangaha to
Bardibas. Of the total length, only three kilometres is in Indian Territory.