At least two pacts to be signed

- ANIL GIRI, Kathmandu

Apr 3, 2018-

In a bid to improve connectivity, people-to-people contact and boosting bilateral trade, Nepal and India are likely to ink a pact for extending the Indian railway up to Kathmandu.

The plan mooted by the Indian side will be presented to the Nepali side for a go-ahead during the India visit of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli that begins on Friday.

Top government officials told the Post that at least two agreements will be signed during the prime minister’s state visit. Preparations are under way in both Kathmandu and New Delhi for concluding more pacts including early completion of India-funded projects in Nepal.

The Indian side is said to be considering connecting Kathmandu with its two cities—New Delhi and Calcutta. The imminent deal will be on linking Kathmandu with New Delhi, officials said.

India announced to build two railway lines linking Kathmandu with Delhi and Calcutta during the Nepal Investment Summit held in February last year.

Indian Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, while announcing the two links at the summit, had said, “These two railway tracks must be built soon to increase Nepal’s connectivity with India. I will give priority to building such networks soon.”

As negotiations are under way, officials did not divulge details including the cost of the project and completion time. “Some other projects are also being discussed but we’re not going to share any information at this premature stage,” said an official privy to the developments.

At present, India is building short cross-border railway connections with Nepal. 

The Janakpur-Jayanagar railroad will be completed within this year.

Another agreement will be on creating a high-level mechanism for cooperation in the agriculture sector. The two sides will upgrade the present joint-secretary level mechanism to the secretary-level.

Published: 03-04-2018 08:28

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