Nepali team off to China for bilateral talks on Kathmandu-Kerung railway

Kathmandu, June 17: A Nepali delegation has left for Beijing, the capital of the People's Republic of China, today for consultation on the construction of Kathmandu-Kerung Railway including preparing the detailed project report (DPR) of the project.

Secretary at the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, Devendra Karki, is leading the Nepali delegation comprising the Ministry joint-secretary Gopal Prasad Sigdel, Dirctor-General of the Department of Railways, Balram Mishra, spokesperson Aman Chitrakar and the representatives of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

According to Department's engineer Kiran Karki, the Nepali delegation left for China to hold discussions on the DPR and other topics related to the Kathmandu-Kerung railway. He said the delegation was visiting China at the invitation of the Chinese side.

The delegation will also have bilateral discussions with the office-bearers of the National Railway Authority of China.

It has been a decade since the Chinese side submitted the preliminary study report on the railway project to the Government of Nepal. This report on the construction of the railway prepared by the Chinese technical team has paved the way for carrying out further home work regarding the modality and the modus operandi for the construction of this railway.

The Chinese officials participating in the Nepal Investment Summit held in Kathmandu on April 29 and 30 had also pointed out the need of high-level agreement regarding the railway construction.

An important agreement has been reached on the topic of the railway during President Bidya Devi Bhandari's visit to China beginning May 2. China has included this railway project in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) that it has brought.

While in China, the Nepali team will participate in the Nepal-China Railway Cooperation Committee's meeting.

As per the preliminary study, Kathmandu-Kerung railway will be 80 kilometres. The construction period will be nine years and the estimated cost is approximately Rs 300 billion.

The Chinese and Nepali officials will also dwell on topics like investment and construction modality.

Nepal and China had agreed to move forward the process of railway construction during the official visit of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli to the northern neighbour from June 19-24, 2018.

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