KATHMANDU, Feb. 12: As the Ministry of Finance has secured a source of Rs. 210 million for the operation of the Jayanagar-Kurtha Railway, technical testing of the railway is expected to start on Feb. 13.
Nepal Railways Company Managing Director Niranjan Jha said the necessary technical testing process of the railway is underway after the Ministry of Finance secured Rs. 210 billion for the operation of the railway of iron. “We will carry out technical tests of the train without passengers from February 13,” Jha said. “The prime ministers of Nepal and India are expected to inaugurate the railway virtually by the last week of February.”
A cabinet meeting held on February 2 called for technical and other infrastructure to run the train in accordance with the Government to Government (G2G) agreement and decided to provide Rs 220 million. However, this amount was omitted from the central budget. The company had also separately requested Rs 450 million for the operation of the rail service.
General Manager Jha said that instead of postponing the train service after the inauguration, it would be inaugurated right after the trials. “If the train service is postponed after the inauguration, it will not send a good message to the public,” he said.
Likewise, he said vegetable markets and shops are still being set up on the rail trail. “Therefore, we are testing the railway to make people aware that the trains will run smoothly from now on,” Jha said.
The government had bought two trains from India 16 months ago to run on the 34.9 km Jayanagar-Kurtha section at a cost of Rs 840 million without the necessary preparations. The Indian government constructed the 68 km railway link at a cost of Rs. 8.77 billion.