Kathmandu- Nepal and neighbor country India have signed an agreement for ‘India-Nepal’ train service.
During the virtual ceremony last Friday, in a letter of exchange ‘India-Nepal Railway Service Agreement 2004’, the ceremony was led by Dinesh Bhattarai, Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, Government of Nepal and Sanjay Kumar Mohanty by represented the India, who is also a member of the development department, signed the agreement.
Along with the signing, all authorized cargo train operators including public and private container operators, automotive freight train operators, special freight train operators or other freight operators approved by Indian Railways will be able to transport containers to Nepal and other goods transported between India and Nepal and goods from third countries. It is said that the Indian railway network can be used to bring people from the port to Nepal.
Similarly, the agreement also stipulates that all types of freight trains operating in India’s railway network will carry goods between India and Nepal. It is believed that the new provision will expand the reach of Nepal’s market power by reducing the transportation cost of special types of goods vehicles and some other goods and will also benefit Nepali traders, transporters and consumers by making the transportation of goods more effective and increasing price competition.
Similarly, Maldivian coaches owned by Nepal Railway Company will be able to carry goods coming to Nepal on Indian Railways (Kolkatta/ Haldia to Biratnagar / Birgunj routes) as per the criteria and procedure.
India argue that, is is another of India’s efforts to expand regional connectivity under the ‘Neighbor First’ policy. The event was attended by representatives of both embassies and ministries, including Indian Ambassador to Nepal Vinay Mohan Quatra, Nepal’s Ambassador to India Nilambar Acharya, Indian Ministry of External Affairs North. Mr. Anurag Srivastava, Joint Secretary of the Division and Mr. Tirtharaj Wagle, Joint Secretary of the South Asia Department under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nepal were present.