China tells Nepal to wait for cross-border railway DPR till issues get settled

Kathmandu, June 25

Once again, Nepali transport officials have returned empty handed from their meeting with Chinese counterparts as a recent discussion on the ambitious cross-border railway project did not produce any result.

The Nepali delegation led by Physical Infrastructure and Transport Secretary Devendra Karki had gone to Beijing last week for the talk on the project that China wants to build as a part of its Belt and Road Initiative.

During the meeting, the Nepali officials demanded that China make a decision about preparing a detailed project report at the earliest. However, Chinese officials said some other important issues needed to get settled before the DPR.

A member of the delegation informs that China insisted Nepal be clear about geological, econological, technical, scientific and natural dimensions of the project before pushing for the DPR. The Chinese officials accused Nepal of looking at the project from the economic perspective only.

After the talk, Nepali officials are also convinced that preparations are not sufficient yet to draft the DPR, according to him.

However, the meeting also discussion Kathmandu-Pokhara and Kathmandu-Lumbini railway projects, sources inform.

Likewise, China also suggested that Nepal thoroughly study the pre-feasibility study report prepared by a Chinese firm and present its opinions over the report’s conclusions.

The preliminary study had concluded that will cost around Rs 257 billion. Likewise, the project will take around nine years to complete.

The railway will be 72.25 kilometre long.

The study conducted by China Railway First Survey and Design Institute had further concluded that 98.55 per cent section of the railway would be covered by tunnels and bridges.

The Chinese government had covered all costs of the preliminary feasibility study that lasted for around one month.

Published on June 25th, Tuesday, 2019 11:36 AM

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