KATHMANDU:- The Government of China has proceeded ahead of the study of the Kathmandu-Kerung railway in its territory.
The project however has been affected by global COVID-19. The study will be carried out on the area from Shigatse to the border with Nepal. China conducting the study has been a positive move at a time when the project has been affected by the infection, said the Railway Department of Nepal. Information about the study of the project from Kerung to Shigatse has been received, said Director-General of the Department, Balaram Mishra. “A study of the project on Nepal’s side will take place when the situation created by the infection normalizes,” he said.
Kerung-Shigatse of the project is longer than Kerung-Kathmandu. Kerung to the border with Nepal spans around 400 to 500 kilometers and Rasuwa to Kathmandu on Nepal’s side is 72 kilometers. The government of both Nepal and China has accorded high priority to the project. National Railway Authority of China handed a preliminary study report of Kerung-Kathmandu railway to the Government of Nepal two years ago. Discussions at various levels were underway to carry out further study of the project, it has been said. An agreement to carry out a study of the project had been reached during China’s President Xi Jinping’s visit to Nepal last year.
Following this, a working-level agreement had been struck. A Chinese team during the visit of President Xi submitted a report of a pre-feasibility study of the Kathmandu-Pokhara-Lumbini railway. The government of China had conducted a feasibility study after it was keen on operation a railway system linking Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Lumbini besides linking Kerung with Kathmandu. The feasibility study had shown the possibility of operating the Kathmandu-Pokhara-Lumbini railway. Series of talks have been held between the Nepalese and Chinese officials regarding research and studies of the Kathmandu-Kerung Railway.
Feasibility study for the Railway is being held in three ways – aerial survey, geological survey, and railway alignment – which is likely to take two years approximately to complete. Similarly, over 200 million Yuan is estimated for conducting the feasibility study which is borne by the Chinese side. The Chinese side too had prepared a report on the preliminary studies of the Railway which has navigated for mulling the modality for constructing this bilateral project. The Nepal-China Cross-Border Railway Connectivity Project as such is likely to aid in expanding Nepal’s connectivity with China and vice versa more vigorously.
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