Seven Chinese firms show interest in feasibility study of Rasuwagadhi-Kathmandu railway

Kathmandu, Aug 11: Seven Chinese companies have shown interest in carrying out the feasibility study of the proposed Rasuwagadhi-Kathmandu railway.

The construction of a Nepal-China railway was mentioned in the joint press communique issued by the two countries during the official visit of then Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli to China in March this year.

Director of the Department of Railways, Ananta Acharya said that seven Chinese companies have shown their interest in carrying out the feasibility of the Rasuwagadhi-Kathmandu railway.

"There is a need of constructing many infrastructures such as bridges and tunnels for the railway given the mountainous and rugged topography and it needs a lot of budget. No agreement on this was made during the Prime Minister's visit but the topic was included only in the joint press communique, so, it is difficult to give authorisation to carry out the feasibility study as per the law and acts," he said.

Railway is considered cheaper, faster and convenient means of transportation. Goods brought up to Sigatse of China by train and then from there to Kathmandu by truck took 15 days. It is found that goods ferried from Kolkata port to Kathmandu take 45 days to arrive. The transportation of goods to Nepal became faster after India opened the Vishakhapatnam harbour last year.

Before this, it was a Chinese company itself that carried out the feasibility study of the Kathmandu-Pokhara railway. The study report has already been submitted to the Railway Department.

According to Director General Acharya, the Kathmandu-Pokhara railway is feasible as per the study report.

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