Kathmandu-Kyirong Railway to cost Rs.257 Billion

KHATMANDU: A preliminary feasibility study conducted by a Chinese company has concluded that extending a railway line from Kyirong of Tibet to Kathmandu of Nepal will cost around Rs 257 billion. Likewise, the project will take around nine years to complete, according to the report.

Senior engineer of the Department of Railways, Prakash Upadhyaya, constructing one kilometre track will cost Rs 3.55 billion. The railway will be 72.25 kilometre long.

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

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

Before that, in May, the two countries had agreed to launch a feasibility study.

Another study conducted by China had earlier concluded that developing railway routes from Kyirong to Kathmandu, from Kathmandu to Pokhara and from Kathmandu to Lumbini would be possible.

Currently, the Beijing government is working to extend the Lhasa-Shigatse railway route up to Kyirong.

Meanwhile, Nepal and China are yet to discuss which modality will be adopted for the project. China has expressed its interest to construct the railway with subsidised loans. However, Nepal has been insisting that China do the project as a grant.

The report of the study conducted by China Railway First Survey Design Institute Group will be made public on Monday. The company will hand over the report to a Nepali team after making it public amidst a program at Xian, China.

A team led by Secretary at the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure Madhusudan Adhikari has already reached China for the program. Around 98.5 percent of the railway will include bridge and tunnel, according to Upadhyay. “Details of the report have yet to arrive. Many things will be clear once they return with the report,” he stated.

The Chinese bore all the expenses for the study.

The Chinese company was selected after an agreement between officials of the two countries in Beijing in April end to conduct feasibility study for the railway line.

Chinese President Xi Jinping had expressed confidence that Chinese train will reach Kathmandu during the China visit of Prime Minister (PM) KP Sharma Oli in June. Xi had added that the team was already instructed to complete the report soon.