September 12: A parliamentary panel has found various problems related to the under-construction railway tracks in different sections of Janakpur-Kurtha-Bardibas-Nijgarh route as well as the 35-Kilometer Janakpur-Jayanagar route which is already operational. The workers engaged in the construction of the railway track are not being paid on time, states a report prepared by the Development and Technology Committee of the House of Representatives. As per the report, other major problems include the use of substandard materials in the construction of the trackbed and land encroachment in different places.
The report prepared by a delegation of the House Committee, which visited Janakpur-Jayanagar and Janakpur-Kurtha-Bardibas-Nijgarh sections in August, has pointed out more than a dozen such problems. The report has also pointed out problems like land acquisition for the construction of a bridge in Bardibas, distribution of compensation, and deforestation.
Problems like acquisition of public land and community forests have also surfaced while constructing a 30 km trackbed in Sarlahi. This has delayed the construction itself. Out of the 18 km trackbed under construction in Mahottari, 3.1 km of the trackbed has problem in acquisition of public land.
The parliamentary committee found that the builders who were entrusted with the construction of this section of track handed over the construction work to local builders. The report further states that the quality of trackbed is questionable.
The parliamentary team led by chairperson of the committee Kalyani Kumari Khadka had made an on-site inspection of this section on August 21, 22 and 23. The report also mentions that the quality of work has been compromised due to the workers abandoning the work abruptly after they were not paid on time. Also, the construction materials were not readily available for the construction.
Construction of railway tracks in various sections of the 73.64 kilometer Jayanagar-Janakpur-Kurtha-Bardibas-Nijgadh route is currently underway.
Out of this, 35 kilometers of the Janakpur-Jayanagar section is already operational since the last five months.
The state-owned railway company of Nepal has reached an agreement with the Indian company Konkan Railway Corporation Limited for the Indian company to operate the trains in Nepal until the government prepares its human resources capable to undertake the responsibility.
Niranjan Jha, general manager of Nepal Railway Company Limited, said that the budget for the current fiscal year, including Rs 48 million due to be paid to Konkan, has not been approved yet.
An official of the Department of Railways said that the issue of operating trains in Nepal is complicated. "There is no concrete plan yet on how to run the train in the Janakpur-Jayanagar section," said the official.