India to Nepal railway line project: The Modi government is looking to expedite the proposed railway project, linking Barhni in Uttar Pradesh to Kathmandu in Nepal, and is awaiting the neighbouring country’s concurrence for the inter-governmental agreement. Recently, Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi told the Lok Sabha that the Ministry of External Affairs is following up with Nepal and is looking to expedite the process for the railway project, which will make travelling easy between both the countries. During the Question Hour, the minister also said that the survey has been completed for the five kilometres of the line in the Indian territory.
According to the report, the survey for new broad gauge line from Barhni in Uttar Pradesh, to Kathmandu, capital of Nepal was sanctioned in the year 2015-16. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal in a written reply stated that work on the proposed railway project can only start after the inter-governmental Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is signed. However, for this, concurrence/comment of the Nepal government is required, he said. In September 2016, a draft MoU was shared by the Modi government with the government of Nepal regarding reconnaissance engineering-cum-traffic survey of the proposed line. However, till date, no response has been received from the Nepal government on this proposal, Goyal added.
Last year, it was reported that to facilitate people-to-people contact and bulk movement of goods, India will build a strategic railway link between Raxaul in Bihar and Kathmandu. It was agreed that the Indian government would carry out preparatory survey work within one year, in consultation with the Nepal government. Also, the implementation and funding modalities of the project would be finalized by the two sides based on the Detailed Project Report (DPR). Last year, India expressed appreciation for Nepal’s commitment to expeditiously resolve all outstanding issues, including land availability for the ongoing railway projects, connecting both the countries.