India and Nepal are on a path to increase connectivity, enhance linkages between people, and push economic growth and development. Which is why, a new electrified rail line connecting Raxaul in Bihar, to Kathmandu in Nepal should help them realise their goal.
The first phase of the India-Nepal cross-border rail link is already making progress. The stretch of railway lines from Jayanagar to Janakpur/Kurtha and from Jogbani to Biratnagar Custom Yard will be finished in 2018, and the work on the remaining stretch of the ongoing rail link projects—Jayanagar-Bijalpura-Bardibas and Jogbani-Biratnagar—will be taken up on priority.
According to a statement released by the Ministry of External Affairs, the India-Nepal Joint Working Group (JWG), has regularly been convening to discuss train services on the ongoing cross-border rail-link projects and will identify the requirements of operating train services on these cross-border rail links and go on to finalise other factors.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nepal’s Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli are aware and appreciative of the progress being done on this project.
There are three other railway projects in the pipeline—New Jalpaiguri-Kakarbhitta, Nautanwa-Bhairahawa and Nepalgunj Road-Nepalgunj—and the leaders emphasised the importance of implementing the three remaining links.
The two Prime Ministers, through video conference from Hyderabad House, in Delhi, even inaugurated the Birgunj Integrated Check Post (ICP).
Birgunj is known as the Gateway to Nepal, and the ICP mentioned above will provide vital services like immigration, customs, quarantine, cold storage, banks, and security checkpoints, under a single roof.
Moving beyond rail-links, the two leaders have recognised that Nepal requires better sea connectivity, and consequently, discussed the development of inland waterways for cargo movement.
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Nepal and India, work together on a number of developmental points, and this new initiative to provide better connectivity is a push for bettering the relationship between the nations.