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Lack of laws pointed out to operate Kurtha-Jayanagar rail service


Sanchita Ghimire, KATHMANDU: Lack of laws is preventing the operation of the railway service on Kurtha-Jayanagar route despite all preparations for the same. The railway track constructed with the financial assistance of the Government of India had been completed last year.
The train bought by the government to operate the railway service was brought six months back. Guru Bhattarai, General Manager of Nepal Railway Company Pvt Ltd, said the entire human resources and other technicians required for operating the railway service were managed after the arrival of the train. According to him, the railway service will be run soon after the required laws are formulated.
The Company stated that an agreement has already been reached with the Government of India for the required technical human resources and to bring the rail engine.
“We have not been able to bring the engine due to the lack of related legislation. We will be in a position to bring the engine once the laws are passed,” he said, adding that agreement has been made with India for bringing some human resources required for operating the railway service from there. He said: “They (the Indian technicians and railway workers) are ready to come to Nepal.We can bring them immediately when required.”
The government has already completed the technical preparations for the operation of the Kurtha-Jayanagar Railway Service. The train set was purchased from the Indian company, Konkon Company. It is said 26 technical human resources are being brought from India in coordination with the company. They include pilot, station master, power manager, senior traffic manager, among others. Director General Bhattarai said the Nepali staff and other technicians are already managed for the operation of the railway service. It is said the Armed Police Force (APF) would be responsible for the security and safety of the rail and Company’s equipment and goods.
The Company said discussions are underway between Nepal and India for the inauguration of the railway service jointly by the Prime Ministers of the two counties. The Railway Department said 1,200 to 1,300 passengers, including those seated and standing, can travel by train.
“Fixing a fare price rate and ticketing has already been decided,” said Bhattarai. The company has proposed a fair fare rate with the related ministry as well. Travelling 35 kilometers costs Rs 75, according to the fare price list. “Travelling on a deluxe rail costs five times more than normal,” he explained. The cabinet meeting today is expected to ease the service operation of the railway.
“The company will soon provide a week-long training session to Nepali workers,” said Bhattarai, adding that those workers having prior experience in the railway sector will be prioritized. “Regular operation will take place in two to three weeks,” he said. The government has a plan to connect the railway to Bardibas where the proposed East-West railway will meet. The government of Nepal brought two DEMU trains four months ago, each of which can accommodate from 1,200 to 1,300 passengers, according to the Department of Railway.
In 1984 BS during the Rana regime, there had been a railway service available from Raxaul in India to Amlekhganj in Nepal and Jayanagar-Janakpur railway service was in operation until 1994 BS.
Construction of the railway tracks from Kurtha to Jayanagar completed last year. Construction of the project from Kurtha to Bijalpura has reached its final stage, and will come into operation soon, said the department.

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