November 27: Last Wednesday, there were a lot of activities at the Biratnagar-based Integrated Check Post (ICP) area on the Nepal-India border. Employees from Nepal and India were jostling to take photos. A passenger train with 25 coaches arrived at the ICP from Bathnaha, India.
The train engine had arrived several times before for broad gauge testing, but it was the first time that the full train did had arrived here. Only cargo containers will come in this broad gauge. On Wednesday, Indian officials came for testing a passenger train.
The Indian side has completed the entire railway work at the ICP which is seven and a half kilometers northeast of Bathnaha. They have also passed the test. As soon as the Indian authorities received the news from Nepal that they are ready for the agreement, India assured that they will hand over regular cargo trains from December 15 onwards. The Nepali side has also informed that the work has been completed, and preparations have been made accordingly.
The Railways Department of India returned from an on-site inspection on Wednesday concluding that cargo trains can be brought up to ICP.
Roshan Kumar Dev, Site Engineer of Bathnaha-Katahari Railways under the Railways Department, said that the officials of the Indian Railways Department are making final preparations.
Engineer Dev informed that they are in the process of operating a cargo train within the next one and a half months.
The work of preparing the necessary infrastructure to bring the cargo train to the Nepal Customs Yard of the ICP has also been started.
According to Dev, the Indian government will hand over the railway to the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure of Nepal.