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Nepal, China to speed up feasibility study of cross-border railway

Xinhua,November 27, 2019 Adjust font size:

Nepal and China agreed to make a feasibility study of the proposed Cross-Border Railway between the two countries by specifying the roles and responsibilities for both sides, a senior official of Nepal's Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport said.

During the meeting held between senior Nepali officials and a high-level delegation from China's National Railway Administration here on Tuesday, the two sides signed a minute detailing each other's tasks as a part of the feasibility study of the proposed railway that will connect Kathmandu with China's bordering town of Geelong (Kerung).

"As per the signed minute, the Chinese side will carry out all necessary technical works such as aerial mapping, surveying, geological testing as a part of the feasibility study," Devendra Karki, Secretary at Nepal's Physical Infrastructure Ministry, told Xinhua on Tuesday evening over the telephone.

"The Nepali side will conduct Environment Impact Assessment and prepare resettlement plan for the people to be affected by the proposed railway project."

According to Karki, another technical team from China's National Railway Administration will soon visit Nepal to carry out the activities as defined in the minute. "We have agreed to complete the feasibility study as soon as possible," he added. It is the fifth formal meeting held between the two sides.

In last May, a Chinese company -- China Railway First Survey & Design Institute conducted a pre-feasibility study of the proposed cross-border railway. The Chinese side has also agreed to extend assistance for training Nepali technical human resources in the field of railway. The proposed railway is a part of a trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network that the two sides agreed to develop under the Belt and Road Initiative.