January 22: The government is preparing to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with India to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) of the proposed 135 km Kathmandu-Birgunj-Raxaul railway. The Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport of Nepal will soon sign the MoU with the Indian Government to begin the DPR of the railway.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, during his first stint as prime minister back in 2015 had discussed the issue of railway connectivity with India during his state visit to India. Since then, a pre-feasibility study report of the railway has been prepared with the help of India. India handed over the report to Nepal last year.
Preparations are now underway to sign an MoU between the two neighbouring countries for preparing the DPR, three years later than the proposed construction date.
According to Ram Hari Pokhrel, Joint Secretary at the MoPIT, the ministry is in the final phase of preparation for signing the MoU.
"As India has also agreed to move ahead for the study, the process will move ahead soon," Pokhrel informed.
An official of the ministry informed that the DPR report would be ready within 18 months after signing the MoU.