PATNA: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to dedicate the new Indo-Nepal railway line being laid between Jaynagar (India) and Bardibas (Nepal) soon. Officials in Indian Railways claimed the project is intended to be completed by February with full cooperation form Nepal government. 

According to ECR chief public relations officer Rajesh Kumar, the project has been funded by ministry of external affairs (MEA). “Ircon International Limited (IRCON) is executing the project utilising an estimated outlay of around Rs787 crore after getting approval from the Railway Board, he said, adding the 68.61 km-long new line between Jaynagar and Bardibas.

The CPRO said IRCON has so far laid tracks up to 34 km from Jaynagar to Kurtha in Nepal. “Apart from laying new lines, IRCON is also developing stations on this route,” he said.

According to sources, the work at present is held up after Kurtha as the Nepal government is working out other details to provide land for laying tracks from Kurtha to Bardibas, which is hardly 34 km. “If everything goes well, IRCON will complete the work on the remaining stretch in a month or so. Railway Board has recently held discussions with the MEA officials to chalk out strategy for completing the project within the stipulated time,” a board official said.

According to sources, railways was eyeing this project for a long time, keeping in view China’s earlier offer to Nepal government to develop railway network in the neighbouring country. The MEA had played a vital role in getting an agreement signed between railways and the Nepal government, sources said, adding this new project would help both the countries to further promote their trade and business through rail communications.

Sources said Union defence ministry is thinking seriously about building an army station near Raxaul. Besides, Indian Army has always considered Nepal a strategic point following the interference of China.

But building an army station near Raxaul could not materialise for one reason or the others, sources said, adding this new rail line project will strengthen not only trade and business between the two countries, but it is also to boost friendly relations between the two neighbours.

Meanwhile, a Board official said the Indo-Nepal rail line project would facilitate railways to run both passenger and goods trains smoothly in the years to come.