5 October, Kathmandu. India has handed over the extended border Jayanagar-Kurtha (Janakpur) railway to Nepal. India started expanding green gauge to broad gauge in 2014.
After extending the section towards Nepal to broad gauge and conducting speed test, India handed over the railway to Nepal Railway Company. In a ceremony held on Friday, Indian Ambassador to Nepal Vinay Mohan Quatra handed over the railways to Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Renukumari Yadav.
All the civil works for the expansion of broad gauge on the 34 km Janakpur-Jayanagar railway was completed in 2075 BS. The government had announced to run trains on Janakpur-Jayanagar route from December 2075 BS. However, delays have been reported due to various technical delays.
India has said that Rs 380 crore has been spent to expand the Kurtha-Jayanagar railway to broad gauge. At present, India is working on the remaining section from Kurtha to Bijalpura at a cost of Rs 200 crore.
It is yet to be decided when the Jayanagar-Kurtha railway will be operational. At present, Nepal does not have any law for railway operation. Nepal and India have signed a ‘Standard Operating Procedure’ for the operation of this railway.
The draft procedure was prepared with the arrangement of how to operate this railway which has been closed since 2014. As it is an inter-country railway, it is mainly necessary to have infrastructures like customs, immigration, security system, information center etc. However, such infrastructures have not been prepared on the Janakpur-Jainagar railway line. Arrangements have been made to run the train by keeping such necessary infrastructure in the procedure. It has been agreed to keep the customs infrastructure at the Inerwa station of Nepal.
It also mentions the need to control the movement of non-visa citizens of third countries through railways. Similarly, Nepal and India have agreed to operate a security mechanism to control illegal smuggling by rail without customs infrastructure on both sides.
Despite the construction of buildings at the border stations on both sides, the two governments have not yet decided on the necessary institutional structure for customs and immigration. An agreement has also been reached on how to run the train without causing any problems due to the epidemic. It also has security and vigilance provisions.
In the meeting, India agreed to develop the capacity of Nepali employees working in the railway service and to train the employees in Nepal and India as per the needs of Nepal.
The two trains that arrived in Nepal in the first week of September to run on the Janakpur-Jayanagar route have been parked in Inerwa for the past one year. The Nepal Railway Company has placed these trains in the parking lot of Inerwa in Dhanusha.
No date has been set for the train, which is expected to run at a cost of over Rs 1 billion including taxes. Nepal Railway Company has hired more than 150 salaried employees for the company but has already dismissed him.
It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.
In May 2019, an agreement was reached with Konkan Railway Corporation, a state-owned company of India, for the purchase of two trains at a cost of Rs 846.5 million. Rs 1.3 billion has been spent to buy these trains till customs and value added tax is paid.