The 4 th India-Nepal Joint Working Group meeting on Railway Cooperation
was held today via video-conferencing. The Indian side was led by Dr Manoj
Singh, Executive Director (Traffic Transportation-F), Ministry of Railways,
Government of India and Nepali side was led by Er Gopal Prasad Sigdel, Joint
Secretary in the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport of Government
of Nepal. Other stakeholders who participated from both sides included senior
officials from Indian Railway, Ministry of External Affairs, Embassy of India in
Kathmandu, Konkan Railways and IRCON on the Indian side and Director General,
Department of Railway (DoRw), General Manager of Nepal Railway Company
(NRC), officials from Ministry of Home and Foreign Affairs of Government of Nepal
from Nepali side.
2. The JWG reviewed the cross border rail link projects that are between
Jaynagar-Bijalpura-Bardibas and Jogbani-Biratnagar under advance
implementation. Both sides discussed the technical preparedness of the
completed 34 km long section of the railway line between Jaynagar in India and
Kurtha in Nepal for the purpose of running passenger train services, including the
Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) that need to be put in place for resumption
of passenger train services by Nepal Railway Company (NRC). The section,
originally a narrow gauge built by British India, was upgraded by Government of
India to broad gauge at a cost of over INR 380 cr (NR 6080 million). Government
of Nepal has recently procured two DEMU train sets from India for running on this
railway link. Both sides also discussed the mutual facilitation and coordination
required for completion of the work on remaining sections from Kurtha to
Bilajpura, currently under construction by Government of India at a cost of INR
200 cr (NR 3200 million).
3. Both sides further agreed to expedite the work for completion of the other
ongoing cross-border railway project between Jogbani in India and Biratnagar in
Nepal under a grant assistance of INR 374 cr (NR 5884 million). The JWG Co-
Chairs agreed to extend cooperation in the railway sector, including in the
capacity building and training of Nepali railway personnel in India and in Nepal as
per the requirements of Nepal.
4. Both sides agreed to remain engaged closely to strengthen cooperation in
the railway sector.