KATHMANDU: Cross-border railway connection between India and Nepal, the Kurtha-Bijalpura rail section of the Jaynagar-Bijalpura-Bardibas has become operational from Sunday.
The Minister of Physical Infrastructure and Transport Prakash Jwala launched the operation in the sector amid a ceremony held at Bijalpura.
The Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of India Kathmandu Prasanna Shrivastava, political leaders from Madhesh Pradesh, and representatives of the Government of Nepal (GoN) were also present at the launch event, a release from the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu stated.
The handover of this section to the GoN was done during the recent visit of Prime Minister of Nepal Pushpa Kamal Dahal to India last month. The Kurtha-Bijalpura line covers a total of 17.3 km and this stretch is dotted with 5 stations namely Kurtha, Pipradi, Loharpatti, Singyahi and Bijalpura.
This is the second phase of the Jaynagar-Bijalpura-Bardibas cross-border rail line project being constructed under grant assistance by the Government of India at the total project cost of INR 783.83 Crores.
The first phase from Jaynagar to Kurtha was inaugurated in April last year and has been operational since. The land acquisition for the third phase connecting Bijalpura to Bardibas is presently ongoing.
In his remarks, Minister Jwala thanked the Government of India for its continuous support in the development of the infrastructure in Nepal including in the rail sector. He highlighted that this rail connectivity will provide a tremendous boost to the people-to-people linkages between the two countries and will enhance trade and tourism in Nepal.
DCM, Shrivastava, in his remarks, highlighted the continued commitment of the Government of India to work towards further strengthening the development partnership for the benefit of the people of both countries.
The implementation of this project will bring reliable, affordable and fast transportation to new areas in Nepal. This project is one element of the series of connectivity projects which are presently being implemented by India in Nepal. These will further lead to enhancing physical connectivity between India and Nepal, which forms an important element of the Government of India’s Neighbourhood First policy.