KATHMANDU, Dec 26: Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Raghubir Mahaseth has said that the government has started process of purchasing its own passenger train instead of using Indian train on lease.
“We won’t lease train as announced earlier in a haste. We will take some time to purchase our own,” said Mahaseth, speaking at a meeting to review the ministry’s progress in the first trimester, at the ministry in Kathmandu on Tuesday.
“We have already collected rates from the Government of India and negotiations are underway,” Mahaseth said.
However, the Department of Railways has not yet prepared a procurement plan.
The 34-kilometer broad gauge rail line connecting India’s Jayanagar to Kurtha of Janakpur in Nepal is almost ready, and the government is soon to commission the railway that is to be extended to Bardibas in near future to connect with the east west railway of Nepal, which is being built separately.
The extension work has, however, witnessed hurdles from locals who are not willing to accept the compensation amount offered by the government for their land to build stations at Bardibas.
Government officials say they are mulling to shift the line to another route to avoid local hurdles. There are plans to use more government land, according to the officials.
Aman Chitrakar, spokesperson of the Department of Railway, said that they have initiated a process to procure train. But he did not divulge the details.
When asked what type of train suits the track, Chitrakar said: “Appropriate rolling stock for short hauling on this route could be diesel electrified multiple unit (DEMU) train.”
The track for the railway was upgraded from the previous track built decades back. The upgrading work was financed with grants from the Government of India.
Mahaseth also said that they have planned to opt for an advanced technology for the east west railway. He added that the government will request India to use the same technology for the proposed Birgunj-Kathmandu electric railway project.