India has expressed interest in linking Kathmandu with two major cities of India: New Delhi and Kolkata, using direct railways. This campaign will be in a bid to strengthen cross-border connectivity and facilitate movement of people between the two countries.
Indian Railways Minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said, “These two railways must be built soon to increase Nepal’s connectivity with India.” He further said he would give priority to building more railways in Nepal soon while delivering a keynote speech at the Nepal Infrastructure Summit 2017.
Minister Prabhu stated that the project of building these railways could take place as soon as Nepal signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for engineering surveys. He also said that India was ready to share its drone technology and experience with Nepal for project monitoring.
“If you invest in infrastructure in a country with wide infrastructure gap, you will get a good return on investment. Also, economic growth triggered by infrastructural development will provide additional benefits to investors,” the Indian minister told the two-day summit organized by the Confederation of Nepalese Industries in association with the government and Youth Community for Nepalese Contractors.
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal said, “Currently, our focus is on the development of infrastructure in energy and transport sectors. I want to assure you that your investment would be safe in Nepal and the government is committed to creating a favorable climate for foreign investors.” Participants of the summit also urged Nepal to increase its infrastructure investment from 4 percent to 8-12 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).
“By this railways project, Nepal can accomplish key infrastructure milestone by 2030, such as generating 10,000 MW of electricity, connecting all cities and local bodies with blacktopped roads, completing construction of [Kathmandu-Terai] Fast Track and other expressways, having modern international airports, providing quality basic services and expanding irrigation networks across the country,” said Wencai Zhang, vice president of the Asian Development Bank.
Zhang also assured ADB’s support in Nepal’s effort to deepen regional integration through cross-border road linkages and regional power trade. The summit is being attended by leading global business leaders.
These infrastructure projects can fully unleash Nepal’s development potential. And additionally, these railways will surely enhance communication among Kathmandu and the two Indian cities.
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