India upgrading roads along Nepal border

  • Nepal concerned about development of highways as embankment
- Devendra Bhattarai, NEW DELHI

Sep 3, 2015-

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has directed the Ministry of Road Transport and Highway to upgrade connecting roads along the Nepal-India border to facilitate bilateral trade.

After the Nepal government informed him about the poor state of the roads, Modi instructed his ministry to expedite ongoing works.

During his last review meeting on infrastructure, the Indian PM asked the ministry to see whether multimodal hubs could be developed on major stretches, such as Raxaul, along the National Highways of Bihar, according to a report in The Economic Times.

The report said a team is likely to visit the site soon for a detailed assessment to develop such a facility. Raxaul has a railway junction and is well connected by roads. This bordering Indian town witnesses heavy movement of cargo and people throughout the year. It is also a major trade corridor.

The report said the 70km stretch from Raxaul to Piprakothi was being widened to two lanes with paved shoulder by the National Highway Authority of India at a cost of IRs3.75 billion. This will be a toll road and the project is likely to be completed by March 2016.

India has a 1,751km-long border with Nepal shared by the states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal. Since road link between the two countries is vital for trade promotion, the plans were prepared to develop all the highways, according to the report. While work on the Sonbarsa-Muzaffarnagar section has almost completed and tolling has started, the proposal to widen the Jogbani-Forbesganj road has been delayed as the previous contract was terminated in January 2014. Now the ministry plans to develop it with 100 percent government-funding of IRs2.58 billion.

Meanwhile, the Nepali Embassy in New Delhi has drawn attention of the Indian Foreign Ministry over the corridor roads after being informed they were being developed as embankment which could inundate Nepali lands. Nepalese Ambassador to India Deep Kumar Upadhyay said Nepal has sought to hold discussions on the matter through the bilateral special committee.  

According to Upadhyay, he has received information the Indian road construction along Bake and Bardia segments could bring inundation problem on the Nepali side. “So, I have asked the District Administration Offices there to submit a field report about unauthorised construction on the No Man’s Land,” he said.

India is reported to have been constructing seven-metre-wide corridor roads affecting the ‘No Mans’ Land’ unilaterally.

Bordering roads

Section    Length

Sitargunj-Tanakpur    52 km

Rupaidiya-Barabanki    144 km

Kakarvaha-Varanasi    144 km

Sunauli-Gorakhpur    83 km

Raxaul-Piprakothi    70 km

Sanobasara-Mujaffarpur    70 km

Kakarvitta-Panitanki    70 km

Published: 03-09-2015 08:33

User's Feedback

Click here for your comments

Comment via Facebook

Don't have facebook account? Use this form to comment