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Janakpur rail project nears completion

- SHAHIMAN RAI, JANAKPUR
Aman Chitrakar, senior engineer at the Department of Railways, says the construction of the 35-km railway line from Jayanagar, of India, to Kurtha, Nepal hasalready been completed

Dec 31, 2018-About 90 percent construction work of the Janakpur-Jayanagar broad-gauge railway line has been completed, according to engineers working in the project. The project, which was expected to be complete by December this year, has had its progress delayed due to various technical reasons.

According to Aman Chitrakar, senior engineer at the Department of Railways, the construction of the 35-km-long railway line from Jayanagar, of India, to Kurtha, Nepal—through Inaruwa, Khajuri, Mahinathpur and Dueriparawaha—has already been completed. He said the construction of the 17-km stretch from Kurtha, of Dhanusha, to Bhangaha, of Mahottari, is currently underway. Chitrakar further informed that land acquisition and railway line expansion works are underway along the 17-km-long Bangaha-Bardibas stretch. 

The 69-km-long Janakpur-Jayanagar-Kurtha railway line has been built at a cost of Rs8.8 billion, with support from the Indian government. Indian Railway Construction Company Limited has been carrying out the project in three phases. The first phase entails constructing the 35-km segment between Jayanagar and Kurtha. The second phase covers a 17-km stretch from Kurtha to Bhangaha, in Mahottari District, while the third phase covers a 17-km stretch from Bhangaha to Bardibas. Of the total length of the route, 3 km lies in India.

The construction of the railway started back in 2010, with a plan of completing the first phase of construction by the end of 2018.

The construction of railway stations, terminal buildings, bridges, culverts, etc, is at the final stage. Bindo Kumar Ojha, chief engineer of the Janakpur-based Railway and Metro Development Project, said that the laying of the railway line and the construction of platforms and staff quarters are going on in good speed. The work of laying sleepers and slab tracks is yet to be completed, said Ojha.

In October, a test run was completed successfully, when a freight train laden with 5,500 tonnes of ballast reached Janakpur smoothly from Jharkhand, India.

The authorities said the construction work has been intensified along the Kurtha-Bhangaha section with an aim to complete the job by April 2019. Similarly, the third phase of the construction process entails providing compensation for land acquisition. According to Chief District Officer of Dhanusha Pradip Raj Kandel, around Rs 147 million has been provided to the local people (who live from Bhangaha to Bardibas) as compensation for land acquisition. It is estimated that Rs 350 million is needed for land acquisition.

The railway service between Janakpur-Jaynagar was suspended four years ago. This track was built nearly 80 years ago, when India was still under the British colonial rule, to transport timber from the forests of Mahottari to India. The railway line spanned 52 km from Bijulpura in Mahottari, Nepal, to Jaynagar in Bihar, India, at that time.

Published: 31-12-2018 08:53

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